BURLESON — The first quarter made the difference for Burleson Centennial as the Spartans outlasted Burleson 64-53 in a key District 8-4A contest Friday at Spartan Arena.
With the win, Centennial (18-7, 7-2 District 8-4A) took over sole possession of second place in the district. And from the Spartans’ first-quarter performance, it appeared they would put the game away early.
Centennial hit five 3-pointers in the opening quarter against Burleson’s zone defense to open a 28-9 lead.
“I just told them that was some of the most beautiful basketball they’ve ever played,” Centennial coach Valerie Wootan said. “They moved without the ball, they shared the ball, found who was open and took the best shot.”
After Burleson’s Mackenzie Hailey converted a layup, Centennial went on an 18-3 run to close the first quarter. Meagan Benson, Cassidy Barbare and Lorin Worthington each hit 3-pointers in the quarter’s final 1:45.
Benson led all scorers with 27 and nailed four 3-pointers. Brooklyn Garcia netted 14, and Worthington added 13.
“We were just so in sync, we knew where each other were going to be on the floor,” Benson said. “We needed this win, and we just played hard.”
But late in the second quarter, Burleson mounted a comeback. Kayli Baker and Madison Landers each hit 3-pointers to ignite a 9-0 Elks run to close within 37-28 at the break.
But the Elks (15-8, 6-3) couldn’t climb the mountain of a 19-point deficit. Hailey’s basket midway through the third made the score 39-37, and Burleson battled back again with 4:50 to play in the game when Lindsay Bryan hit a 3-pointer that made the score 54-52.
Centennial committed only 10 turnovers and hit free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory.
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