JUSTIN -- Saginaw has relied on a balanced attack all year and in Monday's Class 4A Region I bi-district playoff game that was once again the case.
Auburney January led the way with 14 points, Kiley Laminack added 12 and Kelsie Candel 11 to lead the Rough Riders past Trophy Club Nelson 49-30 at Northwest High School.
With the first playoff win in Saginaw girls basketball history, the Rough Riders advanced to the area round to meet Aledo at 7 p.m. Thursday at Chisholm Trail High School.
"We're always going to put three shooters on the floor," said Saginaw coach Marty Garcia, whose team made 16 of 31 shots. "It's hard to just key in on one player because we have several that can shoot. If you take away the outside they can all put it on the floor and go to the basket."
Laminack scored the first 10 points for Saginaw (23-10), including a 3-pointer with 4:07 left in the first quarter to give her team a 10-7 lead. Nelson (20-13) cut the lead to 15-14 on a basket by Dijonnae Robinson with 1:12 to go in the first. After that it was all Rough Riders.
Kellie Massey hit back-to-back 3s to end the quarter to spark a 19-2 Saginaw run that saw the lead balloon to 35-16 with 43 seconds left in the half.
"It all got started from our defense creating turnovers and loose balls," Garcia said. "We did a good job finding Kelly and she hit them. In the second half, you have to give Nelson credit. They're a good team or they wouldn't be in the playoffs, and I told the girls they had to match their intensity."
Saginaw, which hit 13 of 19 shots in the first half, outscored Nelson 14-5 in the second quarter. January scored eight of those points. The Bobcats hit just 8 of 27 in the half.
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