The girls basketball district race tightens as the schedule heads into the home stretch, and Fossil Ridge has a fight on its hands for one of the final playoff spots.
While Keller knocked off Denton Guyer last week in come-from-behind fashion, Ridge split its games to stay tied for the final playoff berth.
The win for the Lady Indians gave them a sweep of Guyer and now they own a three-game lead sitting atop the district standings.
Keller stands at 9-0 in District 5-6A heading into the week’s games with Byron Nelson and a trip to Timber Creek on Friday.
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“It was a big win for us because it gave us the two-game lead with the tiebreaker,” Keller head coach Doug Sporrer said. “It gives us a little cushion.”
The impact of the win was evident by Sporrer’s excitement at the end of the game, as he admitted he tried to stay calm the whole game, especially during the final period when the Lady Indians had to come from six points back.
With five more district games heading into the week, the question as to whether Keller can make it through undefeated inevitably arises.
“I’m always preaching to the girls that we’ll play each possession and the score takes care of itself,” Sporrer said. “The kids have a good understanding of what’s at stake.”
Behind Keller is Northwest and Guyer tied for second at 6-3.
Fossil Ridge kept pace with others in playoff contention last week. Although they lost to Northwest in OT, they came back on Friday to beat Timber Creek and keep their district mark above .500 at 5-4.
The Lady Panthers are tied with Denton Ryan for the final playoff spot. That tie could be broken – even if by virtue of a tiebreaker – should Fossil Ridge beat Ryan in a big game on Friday.
Although Fossil Ridge head coach Stacy Henson said it was a bad week, the Lady Panthers did have something positive happen for them. One of Fossil Ridge’s key players, Ty Henry, returned to the lineup Friday after missing several games due to injury and eased back into play, scoring six points.
Now, with the Ridge at full strength again, the team can focus on finishing strong.
“It makes us quite a bit better,” Henson said of the squad with Henry back on the court to complement Grayson Bright in a tough scoring tandem.
“It’s a big week as we’re just a game out of second,” Henson said. “We’ve got to win two games this week. But, we can take ourselves out of contention if we lose two.
“We’ve had a roller coaster season. We need to be more consistent,” she said.
On Tuesday, Ridge was taking on Guyer, while Ryan was facing Timber Creek. But Ryan’s end of the schedule is a veritable gauntlet of Keller, Northwest and Guyer.
Timber Creek, 2-7 heading into the week, had its hands full in working toward a strong finish. The Lady Falcons registered a big win over Byron Nelson last week, 44-38.
In the win, the Lady Falcons erased an eight point deficit heading into the final period.
Raven Rogers scored 11 points to lead Timber Creek, while teammates Jordan Dixon added nine and Jazmyne Mason had eight.
“It was a great comeback that started with Jazmyne Mason stealing the ball, getting (a shot) ‘and 1,’” said Timber Creek head coach Tina DeMichele. “Jayla Howard got an offensive rebound, then found Raven Rogers for a three. After that, the momentum kept building.”
Their Keller and Guyer games this week provide the Lady Falcons the opportunity to show their progress over the season and even become spoilers in the process.
Central, 3-6, put up a good fight against Ryan last week in a 44-35 loss.
Tianna Cobos poured in 14 points for the Lady Chargers against Ryan.
They now face a week including visiting Northwest and hosting Guyer on Friday.