It wasn’t always pretty, but the Hurst L.D. Bell girls basketball team made history Friday.
With a 39-31 victory over Arlington Lamar at TCU’s Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, Bell advanced to its first Class 5A regional final. The last time Bell played in a region semifinal was in 1996.
Bell (29-2) will play Duncanville in the Class 5A Region I final at 7 tonight at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
The Blue Raiders quickly took control of the game in the first half, jumping out to lead 22-12 at halftime.
In the second half, Lamar (21-10) stepped up defensively to close the gap.
In the fourth quarter, Lamar, the third seed out of District 3-5A, made three 3-pointers that cut the deficit to nine points with less than three minutes to play. Jada Washington hit the first, followed by two from Dezirae Hampton, the second from about 5 feet behind the line.
Lamar also worked the boards in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the first-half production of Bell center Sheridan Pilcher and freshman forward Alexis Gordon.
The 5-foot-9 Pilcher finished with a game-high 14 points, and Gordon added nine points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
Pilcher “doesn’t back down from anybody,” Bell coach Brock Pembleton said. “She gets after it, blocks out and gets rebound. She’s been a steady force for us at 5-foot-9.”
Guard Cierra Johnson also chipped in with nine points for Bell, including seven in the second half, while suffering from an illness during the game, Pembleton said.
Duncanville knocked Bell out of the playoffs two years ago in the bi-district round and last year in the area round and are sitting on a 103-game winning streak going into the game.