Lamar girls overcome slow start, top Keller in bi-district

Posted Monday, Feb. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Arlington Lamar, despite scoring just one point in the first quarter against Keller, stormed away with a 47-32 Class 5A bi-district win at L.D. Bell High School on Monday night.

And the Vikings did it with defensive pressure from every direction that often prevented the Indians from being able to sustain their half-court offense.

Lamar (19-8) forced 22 Keller turnovers and committed just 13. Lamar entered the matchup as the third-place finisher in District 3-5A. Keller was the runner up in 4-5A.

“That’s what has carried us this far,” Lamar coach Erinn Levels said. “Pressure defense and getting in every passing lane. And that’s what we have to do more of as we advance.”

Guards Dierra Ely and Dezirae Hampton led the way for the Vikings with 11 points apiece. Ely, a senior, recorded six steals, and Hampton, a junior, added four steals. Jada Washington contributed five steals as well off the bench.

But Keller (21-8) was able to hold Lamar early, taking a 7-1 lead after the first quarter, which featured strong performances from both defensive units. The Vikings took their first lead on Symone Willis’ 3-pointer with 1:35 left before halftime, which made the score 13-12.

Megan Vincent hit a baseline jumper with 4:45 left in the third quarter to keep the Indians within two, down 21-19, but Lamar finished the third on a 12-2 run that was capped by Ely’s 3-pointer with five seconds left and put Keller behind 33-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Alli Gribbin led Keller with 11 points in the loss, and Lexi Burns added 10. Kennedy Kress hit three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to keep things close, but the Vikings hit 14 of 20 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter to keep Keller at bay.

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