Northeast Tarrant

Lady Panthers, Mustangs look to sew up playoff berths

Grapevine Lady Mustangs guard Samantha Tatum (34) will miss the rest of the basketball season with a broken wrist.
Grapevine Lady Mustangs guard Samantha Tatum (34) will miss the rest of the basketball season with a broken wrist. Special to the Star-Telegram

The Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine girls basketball teams should wrap up playoff berths this week. Southlake Carroll, on the other hand, is facing a win-out situation.

Colleyville Heritage (21-6, 9-0 District 8-5A): The Lady Panthers were looking to accomplish two things when they played host to Fort Worth Dunbar on Tuesday. They were hoping to clinch their 14th playoff appearance in head coach Dianna Sager’s 16 seasons. Sager was also about to collect career win No. 400. What’s notable about Dunbar is when these two teams met on Dec. 20, the Lady Wildcats’ 48 points were the most scored against the Lady Panthers in district play. Colleyville Heritage won, 66-48. Going into Tuesday’s game, Colleyville Heritage has not played a game that has been decided by no fewer than 13 points.

The unfortunate part of the schedule is playing teams that the Lady Panthers will overwhelm. On Jan. 17, Colleyville Heritage defeated Fort Worth Carter-Riverside, 92-9. Carter-Riverside did not score in the second half. Colleyville Heritage finishes the week Friday at Fort Worth Eastern Hills.

Grapevine (14-9, 8-1 District 8-5A): By the end of the week, the Lady Mustangs should be clinching their third playoff appearance in as many seasons under head coach Lindy Slagle. They played Fort Worth Polytechnic on Tuesday and play at Fort Dunbar on Friday. Grapevine had to battle against Dunbar in the first meeting before it pulled out a 47-39 victory on Jan. 3.

The team also confirmed disappointing news about sophomore guard Samantha Tatum, who broke her wrist two weeks ago. Slagle said Tatum is lost for the remainder of the season. Small as it was, there had been hope Tatum might have been available for the postseason that begins on Feb. 13.

One offensive and defensive switch that Slagle has stayed consistent with is between sophomore forward Symone Wesley (5-9) and senior forward Jessi Prater (5-9). When the Lady Mustangs are on offense, Prater plays the small forward and Wesley is the power forward. As Grapevine transitions to defense, Prater is matched up against the power forward. Wesley is on the small forward.

“It just gives a better matchup because the two can play to their strengths,” Slagle said. “Plus, Jessi is really good from the perimeter, and we have to take advantage of her 3-point shooting.”

Carroll (8-17, 1-8 District 5-6A): A tough 45-37 loss to Flower Mound Marcus last Friday was how that game finished. Playing even with the Lady Marauders through three quarters – Carroll led 33-32 going into the final period – the Lady Dragons’ offense was stymied in the fourth quarter. The Lady Marauders outscored Carroll, 13-4.

Mathematically, the Lady Dragons are not out of the playoff race. They began the week trailing Lewisville and Marcus, which were both tied for fourth place with 5-4 records, by four games with five games to play.

But Carroll has to at least win out to have a chance and hope Lewisville and Marcus lose at least four of their final five games to keep them in them in the race. Obviously, those types of scenarios are pretty difficult to expect.

Carroll played at Lewisville on Tuesday and plays host to Northwest Byron Nelson on Friday.