The Times-Register

January 20, 2014

Keller in driver’s seat, Ridge fights for playoffs

KISD Girls Basketball The next few weeks will be crucial for a Lady Panthers squad that is tied for the fourth playoff spot entering this week.

Keller’s girls basketball team picked up wins over Northwest and Central last week to stay within a game of district-leading Carroll in District 4-5A.

The Lady Indians, 8-1 in district, will need to maintain their focus before their opportunity to draw even with Carroll presents itself next Tuesday.

Fossil Ridge was on the schedule for this Tuesday’s game, with results unavailable at the press deadline. Results can be found at Keller will travel to Haltom on Friday.

In the 59-34 win over Northwest last week, Keller was again led by Alli Gribbin, who poured in 22 points. Megan Vincent had nine points for Keller, with Victoria Gonzalez adding eight. And in the 43-18 win over Central, Gribbin had 16 points.

Ryanne Johnson continues to be providing solid play for the Lady Indians, which has contributed to the string of wins for Keller.

Ridge, which was 3-6 headed into the matchup with Keller, is fighting for the fourth playoff spot in the district. Their thin cushion was depleted on Friday night in a thrilling – but heartbreaking – loss to Northwest in double overtime, 64-62.

The Lady Panthers are tied with Northwest and Haltom for the fourth-place spot.

Fossil Ridge had squandered a 16-point halftime lead and had even held a nine-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

“We cooled off in second half,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Stacy Henson. “If we can’t score, it’s difficult for us.”

Henson said the week looms big for her Lady Panthers, as will each of the games remaining on the schedule. They’ll take on Central this Friday.

“As (the city of) Keller has grown, instead of just having Keller and Fossil Ridge as rivals, we’ve got Central and Timber Creek, too, as big games now,” Henson added.

After the Central game, Ridge has just four games remaining: Haltom at home, at Carroll and then finishing with Timber Creek at home.

“Every game is huge,” Henson said.

Henson and the team were confident heading into the game with Keller.

“One thing about it,” Henson said, “my kids know what to expect. Keller shoots the ball so well. I think it will come down to who shoots the ball well and it’s important that we reduce our turnovers and hope the ball falls.”

Central and Timber Creek are tied at 2-7 in the district. The two teams were squaring off against each other on Tuesday.

•  Timber Creek did Fossil Ridge and themselves a favor last week in picking up a win over Haltom, 32-28. Laniya Taylor paced the Lady Falcons with nine points, while Raven Rogers had six.

Timber Creek will take on Richland Friday before traveling to Northwest next Tuesday.

•  Central, after its Fossil Ridge game on Friday, is slated to play Richland on Tuesday at the Thomas Coliseum.

Ashley Yarbrough has had a hot hand for Central lately. In the game with Northwest a week ago, she scored 24 points to pace the Lady Chargers.

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