For a moment, it looked like the younger Aledo squad was going to complete the comeback against Colleyville Heritage.
A 24-14 halftime lead by Heritage dwindled to three points entering the final quarter, but the Panthers pushed back with a 14-0 run that led to a 50-36 defeat of the Bearcats in a Class 5A girls basketball area-round playoff game Thursday at Keller Fossil Ridge High School.
Leading scorer and junior forward Bryn Gerlich picked up her fourth foul in the third quarter, something the Panthers aren’t used to.
Aledo (17-18) came within 27-24 with 2:37 in the third quarter after Taylor Morgan’s three-point play and a Sarah Haeussler layup, but Gerlich had the first seven points in the fourth to give Heritage a 36-26 lead. She later found McKinley Charles for an open 3-pointer and 39-26 lead before Morgan snapped the run with a 3-pointer with 3:48 left.
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“I thought our team responded really well,” Heritage coach Dianna Sager said. “We put Bryn back in and she played the whole time without fouling out. She’s a smart player with a high basketball IQ.”
The Panthers (28-6), ranked No. 11 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches 5A state poll, advance to their first regional quarterfinals since 2007.
The Panthers forced the Bearcats into 16 first-half turnovers, and had 11 steals. They finished with 13 steals while Aledo had 21 turnovers.
Mansfield Timberview 77, South Oak Cliff 41: The Wolves (33-2) forced 38 turnovers, 28 in the first half behind a furious, trapping press, and raced to a lopsided win in a 5A area-round game at Davis Field House in Dallas.
Texas A&M signee Chennedy Carter scored a game-high 25 points, recorded 10 steals and pulled down six rebounds in the win, setting up a regional quarterfinal game against Crowley (25-5). The Eagles routed Seagoville 68-23.
“The versatility and so many weapons that she brings,” Timberview coach Kit Kyle Martin said of Carter. “She can rebound the ball and play around the rim, which doesn’t really happen that much in the girls’ game.”
N’Dnasija Collins added 12 points for the Wolves. Ashakia White led South Oak Cliff (22-11) with 17 points.
Timberview, No. 19 in the latest MaxPreps national rankings, opened the second quarter with a 21-1 run to take control of the contest.
Burleson Centennial 49, Dallas Conrad 27: The Spartans, who upset No. 12 Mansfield Summit in the first round, got past Dallas Conrad in a 5A area round game at Cedar Hill.
“Big win for our basketball program, furthest we’ve ever been in the playoffs and the girls stepped up again,” Spartans coach Val Wootan said.
Kayleigh Benson opened things with a 3-pointer and Karly Burson buried one herself for a 10-0 start by Centennial. The Spartans led 12-4 after one before pulling away from Conrad (21-7) in the third quarter with a 21-10 spurt. Burson finished with a game-high 13 points. Bree Gustin added 12.
The Spartans (23-9) will play Mansfield Legacy (23-10), which beat Dallas Adams 67-26, in the regional quarterfinals.
Staff writer Matthew Martinez contributed to this report.