The Weatherford girls didn’t even bother contesting the tip-off Tuesday night against North Crowley.A formality, coach Darryn Shearmire called it. So instead, the Kangaroos sent one player near midcourt and set their defense up behind her, conceding the opening possession to the Panthers. Not much after that came easy for North Crowley.Weatherford stifled the Panthers’ offense and held off a late run for a 25-21 win at North Crowley, clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in District 3-5A.North Crowley (13-13, 7-7) cut the Weatherford (16-13, 8-6) lead to 24-21 with 1:03 left after Jurnee President’s third 3-pointer. The ’Roos’ inbounds pass was intercepted, resulting in a scuffle for the ball, which went out of bounds off Weatherford.But the Panthers couldn’t take advantage, losing the inbounds pass and fouling Weatherford’s Faith Woodring, who made one of two free throws to put the ’Roos up 25-21.Weatherford limited the Panthers’ offense most of the night by anchoring their zone defense in the paint, forcing the Panthers into jump shots.“It was like Hoosiers — make them shoot it from the cheap seats,” Shearmire said. “We just said don’t let them get it in the paint.”Weatherford led 5-2 after holding North Crowley to one field goal in the first quarter. Maddie Dorris led the first-half charge for Weatherford, scoring eight points all near the rim, finding ways around the much taller Danielle Williams. Dorris continued that trend in the opening minutes of the third quarter, pivoting her way to a bucket and free throw to give Weatherford a 17-10 lead. She finished with 13.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST