With sole possession of first place in District 6-6A hanging in the balance, crunch time belonged to the Flower Mound girls basketball team on Tuesday night.
Despite playing catch-up the majority of the ballgame, the Lady Jaguars mustered a 21-point fourth quarter to overtake Hebron for a 62-58 victory and stand alone as the district’s only remaining unbeaten team at 4-0.
“These first-round matchups are huge because they give you a leg up on tiebreakers and to win one on the road is huge,” said Sherika Nelson, Flower Mound head coach. “We have a long way to go before district is over, but I think tonight was a big confidence builder for us. I think it tells us that we’re in this fight and that this district is so tough that we know we have to keep fighting.”
Neither team held more than a two-possession lead over the contest’s 32-minute duration, but it was a flurry by the Lady Jaguars midway through the fourth quarter that swayed momentum for good. Behind freshman Madison Cox and sophomore Sarah Edmondson, Flower Mound strung together a 10-2 run to erase a 48-43 deficit and put Hebron on the defensive.
The Lady Hawks countered with senior Courtlyn Loudermill, who exploded for 30 points in the loss, including a 3-pointer with 2:20 remaining to knot the contest at 53-53.
Flower Mound senior point guard Makenzie Schott later found Edmondson rolling to the basket for a layup that gave the Lady Jaguars a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. They assured as much by converting 11-of-14 fourth-quarter free throws.
“We just kept battling. Any time they got up by five or six, we always had an answer. We also made some huge free throws and got some big defensive stops,” Nelson said.
Central to that effort were Cox and Edmondson, who shined against the comparatively undersized Lady Hawks. Edmondson poured in 16 points and Cox double-doubled with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
“They’re still just learning as far as feeding off each other and learning to play with each other,” Nelson said. “I think we’re starting to now see what they can do, especially rebounding. They held their own in the paint tonight and that was huge tonight, as well as with outlet passes in the first quarter to get our transition offense going.”
While Loudermill had the hot hand all game for Hebron, she got help in the form of 16 points from senior Sierra Dickson. The Lady Hawks dipped to 3-1 in district play with the loss.
Logjam in 2nd place
Whereas Tuesday’s Flower Mound-Hebron duel had first-place bragging rights on the line, the rest of 6-6A hasn’t exactly lost much footing in its pursuit of a district title.
Following Tuesday’s ballgames, Hebron shared second place with Irving MacArthur and Lewisville — both of whom found the win column in their early-week showdowns.
MacArthur was fueled by a 50-point outburst from Baylor signee Hannah Gusters to overwhelm Irving Nimitz, 81-34, and Lewisville got 22 points from junior Laila Lawrence to cruise past Irving, 68-43.
The three-way tie likely won’t last long, however, with Hebron traveling to MacArthur for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff Friday.
Cowgirls pick up 1st win
After a hard-luck start to district play — dealt matchups against MacArthur, Hebron and Lewisville — Coppell at last found the 6-6A win column after edging Marcus on Tuesday, 40-35.
Neither team was afforded much separation in the matchup, with Coppell holding just a 23-20 lead through two quarters and a 32-30 nod through three.
The Cowgirls limited Marcus to just five points over the final eight minutes to pick up their first district win, led by 12 points from senior Megan O’Neil and 10 from senior Nicole Obialo.
Marcus, which dropped its second straight district ballgame, received 15 points from junior MJ Jefferson.