PATTONVILLE, Texas — DeKalb faced a 15-point deficit entering the fourth quarter and, despite cutting the margin to five points twice, couldn't get the game back even.
Sabine shot 33 percent, won the battle of turnovers by a hefty margin and escaped the late surge by the Lady Bears, 47-37, in a Class 3A area girls basketball game Monday at Prairiland High School.
The Cardinals (22-2) advance to the regional quarterfinals against Winnsboro or Waskom after converting 16 of 49 field goals and committing 15 turnovers.
DeKalb ends its season at 16-6. The Bears shot 25 percent on 13-of-53 field goals, had 29 turnovers and dominated in rebounds, 47-32.
"The one thing I can say about this team is that they never quit," Lady Bears head coach Melissa Motes said. "We've been in so many situations this year in tight games or playing from behind, and they continue to fight until the end. We had a bad three minutes toward the end of the second quarter when Sabine hit some shots, and we went into halftime down."
Up 10 coming out of halftime, Sabine rattled off a couple of quick buckets to go ahead 29-15. DeKalb answered with four points of its own, but the Cardinals netted four quick points, turning it into an 8-0 run. Sabine led 37-22 after three quarters, as Anijah Gray hit a trey for the Bears with 7 seconds left.
DeKalb opened the fourth on a 6-1 run to get the deficit back to 10 (38-28) with 6:06 left. Coriana Fulbright grabbed her 16th rebound and scored on a putback to make it 38-30 with 5:32 left. A trio of free throws cut the Sabine lead to 38-33 with 4:01 left.
The Cardinals were back up seven (42-35) with 1:44 left to start a 7-2 run to close out the game.
Fulbright finished with 19 points and 20 boards for the Bears. Bracee Proctor also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Emily Murphy pulled down 12 blards.
"I'm proud of the girls' effort," Motes said. "We didn't shoot the ball well, and if you don't shoot well in the second round of the playoffs, you're probably not going to win. We don't have a senior playing, and so the future looks bright. We went from tying for fourth in the district last year to winning the district title and making the second round of the playoffs."
Sabine started strong, forcing several turnovers early and building a 7-1 lead just 3:35 into the game. DeKalb took better care of the ball and dominated the boards, pulling back to within a point (9-8) at the first break.
Fulbright converted a traditional 3-point play from the foul line for the Bears, who trailed 14-13 after the play with 5:59 left in the second quarter. From that point Sabine scored 11 straight points, including Blaire Kaufman draining 3-pointers on three consecutive trips down the floor.
Fulbright grabbed a pair of offensive boards and scored on her own miss with 9 seconds remaining, but DeKalb went into the locker room down 10 points (25-15).
The Cardinals shot 33 percent (9 of 27) from the floor in the first half, committed just three turnovers — compared to 17 by the Bears — but trailed DeKalb 26-11 in rebounds. The Bears shot 24 percent (6 of 25) from the field before intermission.
Kaufman led Sabine with 17 points in the game, and Mercedes Willett had 12 points and 10 rebounds.