LEWISVILLE – Sachse sophomore guard Crislyn Rose pounded her chest with her fist.
As Rose walked towards the Mustang supporters inside Farmer Activity Center, she let out all of her emotion after making the game-winning shot for the second time these playoffs.
Rose dribbled the ball from midcourt and hit a short jump shot over two Mansfield defenders as time expired to give Sacshe a 56-54 come-from-behind win in a Region II-6A area-round game Tuesday at Lewisville High School.
“I was actually fixing to hold the ball and I didn’t realize that they were counting down the time,” she said. “I just went for it. I just put that on me to be able to help my teammates.”
CRISLYN ROSE. Second straight game with the winning shot for the Mustang sophomore guard. Sachse rallies from 12 down in the third quarter, defeats Mansfield 56-54. Sachse advances to regional quarterfinals for fourth straight year. Mustangs to face No. 2 DeSoto next. pic.twitter.com/832hNWJmhL— David Wolman (@david_wolmanFWS) February 24, 2021
Rose led all scorers with 22 points. Senior guard Londyn Oliphant contributed 13 points. Freshman Neenah George chipped in 10 points.
The shot was nearly identical to the one that Rose banked off the glass as time expired – albeit at a different angle – in a 45-44 victory against Rockwall in the bi-district round Feb. 12.
“They just believe in each other and work hard,” said Donna McCullough, Sachse head coach. “They’ve had to come back from down in both games. Their defense is the factor that makes them come back and gives them energy. We got steals, which gives us a lot more energy. We never quit. We never gave up on each other.”
Both times, Sachse had to rally from a double-digit deficit in the second half. The Lady Mustangs finished on a 16-2 run to down the Yellow Jackets. Sachse was afforded more time Tuesday.
Sachse (14-7) had momentum after Oliphant slipped a pass to freshman Micah Cooper, who converted a layup to give the Mustangs a 28-24 lead less than a minute into the third quarter.
But, Mansfield (18-8) proceeded to turn the tables on Sachse. The Lady Tigers went on a 16-0 run over the game’s next four minutes to seize momentum. Senior guard Emily Holland buried three 3-pointers to fuel the run.
Near the end of the Lady Tigers’ run, Holland blocked a three-point attempt by Sachse and hit a 3-pointer in transition, then hit yet another 3 just 55 seconds later to give Mansfield a 40-28 lead with 3:05 left in the third quarter.
Rose knew it wasn’t time to panic.
“We were just like, ‘We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep pushing,’” she said. “We’ve been in situations like this before. We just kept fighting. Then, we just had to stay solid on defense. That’s how it worked out for us.”
Sachse turned the game around with its defense, using a variety of double teams to force Mansfield into committing several turnovers.
The offense soon followed.
Rose converted a layup following the second steal by Sachse in as many possessions for Mansfield to cut the deficit to 51-50 with 2:46 left in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Neenah George sank two free throws to give Sachse a 54-51 lead with 51.4 left.
Mansfield didn’t go away quietly.
Mansfield senior post Kendyl Howell putback a missed 3-pointer to trim the Sachse lead to one point. Then, with 16 seconds left in regulation, Zarria Carter made the front end of a pair of free throws to forge a 54-54 tie.
Carter was held to just three points in the second half after terrorizing Sachse in the paint during a first half in which she netted 15 of her team-high 18 points.
But, Rose ensured Tuesday’s game didn’t need overtime.
Sachse advances to the regional quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive year and will face Class 6A’s No. 2 team, DeSoto, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Skyline. The Lady Mustangs will do so with three starters who are freshmen and another who is just a sophomore.
“Unbelievable,” said McCullough. “Unbelievable, because honestly, this is a new group. Last year, we had a lot of players coming back, so we expected them to do that. This year, we don’t know what to expect because we don’t know what we really are. But, look where we’re at again. It’s amazing.”