Lake Ridge stays alive in playoffs

02/17/2014 11:41 AM

02/17/2014 11:42 AM

The Lake Ridge girls basketball team continued its playoff run after knocking off Sherman last week in the Region II area round game.

The Lady Eagles were set to play Sulphur Springs on Tuesday in the Region II quarterfinals at Rockwall High School. Although the game was played after the press deadline, game information can be found at www.dfwvarsity.com.

Sulphur Springs had gotten past district champ Summit last week, 39-36.

Lake Ridge, the fourth-place team out of the district, will look to make its way into unchartered territory, but even at this point, the Lady Eagles have surpassed expectations.

The secret of their success isn’t necessarily the player talent on the court, said their coach.

“The heart and character are amazing,” said Lake Ridge head coach Stephani Gray. “They’re such a complete team that it’s inspiring to me.”

The reason a relatively new school is making headway has to do with the development of a winning culture, too, said Gray.

“We’re a new school and it’s taken a little while to develop a culture of knowing you can win,” Gray said. “The chemistry is right and they fight for each other and love each other.”

Lake Ridge beat Tyler John Tyler 57-51 in the bi-district round and then eliminated Sherman, 58-52 in the Region II Area round.

Friday’s game with Sherman showed the Lady Eagles could stave off a run on their lead.

“We came out very confident and were making transition baskets,” Gray said.

When Lake Ridge built a 30-9 lead, Sherman came back, but the Eagles were able to protect their lead and match the enthusiasm of Sherman.

“It was good for our kids to have to hold a lead,” Gray said.

•  Summit finished at 23-8 after the surprising loss in the area round to Sulphur Springs. The Lady Jaguars had dispensed of Jacksonville in the bi-district round, 41-27.

Reflecting on the recent loss, Summit head coach Tammy Lusinger said they were trying to get over it last weekend.

“Neither team shot very well,” Lusinger said. “It took us out of our game. We were up five with 3:30 to go, and they kept pecking away at that lead. And, we missed a three at the buzzer to tie it. We never felt like our team ever got in rhythm. We never felt comfortable and didn’t move the ball well.

“We were the hamsters in the cage running in circles not getting anywhere,” Lusinger said she told the team at halftime.

“Going into the season, the team we thought we’d have, we didn’t have,” Lusinger said, noting the Lady Jags lost their leading scorer late in the season.

“We faced a lot of adversity and fought hard in every game,” she added, but said the experience will pay off in the future.

“We know what things we need to work on in the off-season,” Lusinger said. “We lose seven seniors but our JV team was undefeated in district.”

•  For Timberview, the season also came to early and abrupt end.

The Lady Wolves lost to L.D. Bell 69-58 in the 5A Region I area round on Friday.

In the loss, Terriell Bradley and Dayo Olabode each had 16 points, with Amber Browning adding 11.

Timberview had beaten up on Temple in the bi-district round 56-31.

The Lady Wolves ended the season at 24-9 after a strong district showing, going 10-2, with their only losses coming to undefeated district champion Duncanville.

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