Colleyville Heritage junior guard Bryn Gerlich converted a three-point play midway through the fourth quarter to bring the Panthers within a single point of top-ranked Amarillo, but the Sandies regrouped for a 55-45 victory Friday in a Class 5A Region I girls basketball semifinal at Snyder.
Amarillo (37-1) meets Canyon or Denton Ryan in the Region I final Saturday at 2 p.m.
Amarillo is the No. 1 5A team in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll and 13th nationally in a CBS/MaxPreps poll, but the upset-minded Panthers (29-7) matched their opponent basket-for-basket in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Heritage senior guard Mckinley Charles gave the Panthers a 25-21 lead at halftime.
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Amarillo fought back in the third period, primarily on the shooting of junior guard Annilia Dawn. The Sandies led 38-32 to start the final period.
Amarillo extended the lead to 44-35 on a basket by guard Samantha Henry, but Heritage senior guard Emily Lewis tossed in a 3-pointer and a field goal to cut the deficit to 44-40. Gerlich took a charging call moments before her three-point play that brought Heritage within a point at 44-43.
Amarillo sisters Zayla and Sidney Tinner led the Sandies final push, combining for nine unanswered points and a 53-43 lead.