GRANBURY -- Aledo girls basketball coach Rusty Johnson noticed something different about his team Tuesday as the Ladycats traveled to face Granbury.
"This is generally a pretty loose bunch," Johnson said. "But there wasn't a whole lot of talking on the bus ride over here. It was more of a stone focus than I've seen in them all season."
That renewed intensity pushed Aledo to a 46-40 victory over Granbury and into sole possession of first place in District 7-4A. Aledo (18-6, 6-0 in 7-4A) came in ranked 15th in Class 4A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, while Granbury (14-11, 5-1) was ranked 20th.
Aledo used its defense and its depth to start to pull away by holding the Pirates to six points in both the second and third quarters.
"That's been a problem for us all year -- not coming out ready to attack in the third quarter," Granbury coach Leta Andrews said. "And Aledo can make it happen from every position on the court, so that really gave us trouble [Tuesday]."
It was Aledo's tandem of Mallory Powell and Justis Szczepanski-Beavers that gave Granbury the most trouble. Powell led all scorers with 17 points, while Szczepanski-Beavers had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Granbury trailed 38-24 to start the fourth quarter, but rallied behind Lilley VanderZee, who led Granbury with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Morgan Northcutt's 3-pointer with 33 seconds left cut the lead to 44-40. But that was as close as Granbury could get.
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