Arlington Lamar girls rally past Martin for trip to Region I tournament

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Riding an intense defense and dominating rebounding, the Arlington Lamar girls basketball team earned its first trip to the Class 5A Region I tournament after holding off Arlington Martin 39-33 on Tuesday at the Arlington High School gym.

Lamar (21-8) will meet Hurst L.D. Bell in the regional semifinals Friday at TCU’s Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The Vikings, who trailed 16-13 at halftime, outscored District 3-5A rival Martin 26-17 in the second half, holding the Warriors (23-8) to one basket (at the buzzer) in the final 3:57. Lamar outrebounded Martin 44-24, and the Vikings scored a number of their points on second-chance baskets.

“Every possession counted in a game like this,” Lamar coach Errin Levels said. “The defensive intensity and the crowd out there made it difficult for both teams.”

Lamar jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Martin fought back to tie the score at 7-7 before the end of the first quarter. The Warriors took their first lead at 11-9 at the 5:24 mark of the second period.

But the Vikings opened the second half with a 12-5 run, and took a 22-21 lead at 3:01 on a steal and layup by Dierra Ely, who led all scorers with 20 points. The Vikings then hit one of only two 3-pointers they made in the game when Dezirae Hampton (11 points) scored to extend the lead to 27-23 after three quarters.

In the fourth, Martin cut the lead to two twice, and the Warriors were within 34-31 after an Emily Slagle layup and foul shot at 3:57. But the Warriors did not score again until the final seconds and Lamar held on for the win. Slagle finished with 13 points.

“I’m excited for these girls,” Levels said. “They’re ready to set some new traditions for Lamar High School. It feels good.”

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