TYLER, Texas—Texas High's defense stepped up big when it needed it the most.
With Highland Park battling its way back from a big deficit and taking a brief lead in the third quarter, the Lady Tigers went on a run and held the Lady Scots to three fourth-quarter field goals in their 75-54 bi-district playoff triumph on Monday night at Tyler Junior College.
Texas High went on a 16-0 run starting in the final minutes of the third quarter and outscored Highland Park, 37-22, in the second half.
"Early in the third quarter, when Highland Park took the lead, we inserted Amiyah Rone into the game and she sparked us defensively," Texas High head coach Craig Collvins said. "She was able to help get some turnovers, which flipped a light switch in us and let us return to the normal Texas High that we are."
Kerrighan Dunn scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half for Texas High, including six in the fourth quarter to help hold off the Lady Scots. Teammate Mia Wilson also scored 16, and Antonia Porter added 15.
The Lady Tigers came out with full energy in the first quarter, outscoring the Lady Scots, 22-13, and looked as if they would be unstoppable going into the second. However, Highland Park got a boost from Mary Werriner Kemp as she went on a scoring onslaught and helped lead her team back into competition, as they were able trim the score to 38-32 at intermission.
"In the first half, we played her (Kemp) like we would anybody else," Collvins said. "But, in the second half, we had to change it up and put someone on her and made them stick to her. We still played our style of defense, and give our kids credit as they played hard all night."
Kemp finished with a game-high 19 points, with 11 coming in the first two quarters.
Texas High advances to play the winner of the Liberty-McKinney North game.
n n n
Highland Park 13 19 16 6 — 54
Texas High 22 16 16 21 — 75
HP (54): Snelling 1 3-4 5, Kemp 6 7-11 19, Ellis 1 0-0 2, Turner 3 2-3 8, Patterson 4 1-2 9, Keogh 5 1-2 11. TEAM TOTALS 20 14-22 54.
THS (75): Morrison 1 2-2 4, Finley 1 0-0 2, Willis 1 4-8 6, Porter 6 0-0 15, McBride 2 0-0 5, Rone 4 1-2 9, M. Wilson 6 4-6 16, Dunn 5 4-4 16. TEAM TOTALS 26 17-24 75.
3-Point Goals: HP-None. THS-Porter 3, McBride, Dunn 2. Team Fouls: HP-14. THS-16.