On Tuesday, the Lady Rockets (30-8) faced off against the Lady Panthers (24-9) in the Region 4-6A quarterfinal playoff match up.
In the first quarter, the Lady Panthers started with an early steal and appeared lasered focused. Yet, it was the Lady Rockets who scored first with senior Jonmecia Baskin hitting the layup. Junior Kierra Sanderlin then provided an assist to sophomore Amira Mabry for a layup. Meanwhile, O’Connor’s junior Julianna Tapia began her scoring with a layup, putting the Panthers on the board. The O’Connor sophomore Carleigh Wenzel also got a three-pointer off, despite the detailed coverage on her. Mabry, Sanderlin, and senior Teanna Huggins then answered with baskets of their own, giving the Lady Rockets a 10-5 lead. Senior Cherisha King also got in on the action, continuing to solidify the Lady Rockets’ dominance on offense. Alongside the offense, the Lady Rockets’ ability to run a full-court defensive scheme, completely stagnated the Lady Panthers offense. The Lady Rockets led 16-5 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Sanderlin started the quarter off hot with a three-pointer. Mabry then followed with a jump shot and Sanderlin continued to produce with a euro in the lane. Looking unstoppable, Huggins’s pressure on defense gave her points on the other end. Sanderlin racked up another assist with a pass in the lane to Baskin. O’Connor being stunned the entire quarter by Judson’s defense, O’Connor’s Tapia attempted to swing the game with back to back shots to end the quarter. Nonetheless, the Lady Rockets ended the half with a dominating lead, 28-9.
In the third quarter, the Lady Panthers got their offense going early with quick layups and Tapia’s three-pointer, dwindling the lead 28-14. Following the Lady Rocket’s time out, Sanderlin bit a tough layup. O’Connor’s Wenzel struggled to get more points on the board but sank two free throws in the quarter. That flowed into another offensive completion for the Panthers, but Mabry fires back with a shot towards the end of the quarter, Lady Rockets now leading 32-20.
In the fourth quarter, the Rockets pumped the brakes on offense and focused on their strengths on the inside. The Lady Panthers played to theirs as well, with Wenzel and Tapia leading an eight-point run. However, Sanderlin’s clutch shots on the free-throw line solidified the win for the defending champions, 44-28.
On Friday, the Lady Rockets will face off against Laredo United at Blossom Athletic Center for the Region 4-6A semifinals.
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