One game remained in the regular season, and Keller’s girls basketball squad found itself in a unique position.
The Lady Indians have been to the playoffs plenty of times before, but head coach Doug Sporrer said there’s something unique about their Richland finale.
“We’ve never been in this position before,” Sporrer said. “Something’s always been on the line,” noting that Keller’s 11-2 district mark has had them inked-in for the playoffs without the need to win the final contest.
Keller will finish in second place behind Carroll and is two games ahead of Richland heading into Tuesday’s game. The game was after the press deadline; results can be found at dfwvarsity.com.
“I think the Richland game is an opportunity to improve and get everyone some minutes and see what happens,” Sporrer said. “It’s like the NFL and the games before the playoffs,” he said, noting there’s always the opportunity to rest players. Possible injury was in the back of Sporrer’s mind, but he certainly didn’t feel the risk is as great as other sports.
Keller will face Arlington Lamar in the first round of the playoffs. The game will be played on Monday or Tuesday on a neutral court with details to be decided on Wednesday.
Keller got a taste of some of the pressure of a playoff game last week in their win over Timber Creek.
Timber Creek raced out to a 22-7 lead over Keller before the Lady Indians woke up and then scored 62 points in about a 20-minute span. Keller finally came away with a 69-54 win.
“It was interesting to have to come from behind and have pressure on us and play with our backs against the wall,” Sporrer said. “It was Timber Creek’s senior night and they were playing very well. I’m pleased with how we responded. We trailed at halftime 29-24.”
The 31 points scored in the third quarter by Keller is the most the Lady Indians have tallied in a single quarter this season, Sporrer said.
Lexi Burns scored 21 points, just ahead of Alli Gribbons’ 20 in the Timber Creek game.
Timber Creek’s Dani Cowley led all scorers with 23 and Laniya Taylor added 13 for the Lady Falcons.
entered the final week in fourth place and is poised to take the final playoff spot after behind Richland. Northwest at 4-9, is just a game behind Ridge’s 5-8.
Fossil Ridge had a Tuesday meeting with Timber Creek while Northwest was taking on Central. That puts a little pressure on the Lady Panthers to play well.
“Tuesday is obviously a big game,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Stacy Henson.
“We lost a few games early but now we control our own destiny,” Henson said prior to the Timber Creek game. “I hope our kids show up to play.”
Should Timber Creek knock off Ridge, a play-in game would determine the fourth spot, as the Panthers and Northwest have split their head-to-head games.
Maintaining their final spot for the post-season, Fossil Ridge would face District 3-5A champion Arlington Bowie. The Lady Vols are 24-2 and have beaten Carroll earlier in the season.
• Central, 2-11, can’t be counted out in pulling an upset of Northwest, as they did just that to Richland earlier in the district schedule.