Second-half rally fuels Burleson Centennial girls, evens top of District 8-4A

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 07, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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After scoring just 12 points in the first half, Burleson Centennial came roaring back in the second half for a 46-38 win over Cleburne to pull even with the Yellow Jackets atop the District 8-4A standings.

Cleburne (16-6, 5-1 District 8-4A) got whatever it wanted on the offensive glass in the first half, but the Spartans (16-6, 5-1) turned things around inside in the third quarter.

Sophomore Lacey Burns made key plays on both ends of the floor in the second half to spur the comeback after Centennial trailed 22-12 at the half. Burns finished with 12 points in the win. Her post move inside with 2:05 left in the third cut the Cleburne lead to three, 23-20.

“Lacey [Burns] just stepped up when she came in the game and made some really big plays to relieve some pressure,” Centennial coach Valerie Wootan said.

After a 10-1 Centennial run, Cleburne was still hanging onto a 27-25 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets leaned on their outside shooting for much of the game, and when Centennial began to limit Cleburne to one shot per possession, the momentum tipped in the Spartans’ favor.

Cleburne senior guard Courtney Jeffcoat lead all scorers with 14 points.

But in the fourth quarter, Centennial exploded for 21 of its 46 points, 11 coming at the free-throw line.

“They don’t miss too many free throws, and they just out-executed us,” Cleburne coach Jamie Calahan said. “We’ve got to be the ones pushing the tempo, and we did a lot more of that in the first half.”

Spartans guard Cassidy Barbare knocked down two crucial 3-pointers early in the fourth as part of a 15-2 run, which turned the two-point deficit into a six-point lead with 5:35 to play. The senior had 11 points in the win.

But after Jasline Chandler’s bucket inside capped Cleburne’s 7-0 run in response, it was Meagan Benson who made two critical plays with less than two minutes left to seal the win for Centennial. The junior drove through three Yellow Jackets defenders for a three-point play and stole the ball on the ensuing Cleburne possession to help the Spartans pull off the comeback.

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