By BRAD KEITH
(December 31, 2014) — Stephenville (14-6) salvaged an even split at the prestigious Mansfield Rotary Invitational with a second straight win Tuesday afternoon, defeating 6A Mansfield High 49-35.
The Bees were 9-12 from the free throw stripe in the fourth quarter, outscoring Mansfield 17-6 in the final frame to seal the victory after MHS owned the third, 17-7, to get back in the game. Stephenville led 25-12 at the intermission after beginning the game with a 6-1 charge and leading the entire way.
Balanced scoring again was key to the Honeybee offensive effort with Lyndi Graham scoring 11 and Breanna Wooley 10. Kali Smith added eight, Bethanie Bouchey seven, Cassidy Cline seven, Lariat Larner four and Skylar Chipman two.
The Bees went 2-2 over two days in the Invitational. They lost to 6A No. 3 – and preseason No. 1 – Amarillo and 5A Mansfield Summit on Monday, and also defeated 5A Texarkana Texas Tuesday morning.
“That’s a tough tournament, mostly full of 5As and 6As, but it’s typically been a good tournament for us,” said Stephenville head coach Alan Thorpe. “For a school our size to go 2-2 there, I feel like that’s pretty successful.”
Stephenville, ranked fifth in 4A by the Texas Girls Coaches Association and 10th by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, was without guard Bayleigh Chaviers both days. The two-time 800 meter state champ and soccer star made a campus visit to Miami (Fla.), where she has verbally committed to play soccer.
“For us to go out without our full lineup and do what we did, I’m happy with where we’re at,” Thorpe said. “Now we’ll get Bayleigh back and build on what we’ve done so we’re ready for district.”
That includes final pre-district tuneups coming up against Springtown and Robinson.
The Bees visit Springtown at 2:30 p.m. Friday, part of a lineup that features the JV Bees at 1 p.m. and the ninth graders at 4 p.m. SHS hosts Robinson inside Gandy Gym at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the sub-varsity teams beginning the action at 5 p.m.