By BRAD KEITH
ALEDO (February 19, 2016) — A couple small streaks have helped Stephenville continue a much longer one.
For the second straight game, the Honeybees had a 16-0 run. For the second straight game, the opponent never recovered. And for the seventh straight year, Stephenville is an area champion.
Kali Smith hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead Stephenville to a 51-36 win over Bridgeport in a Region I-4A area playoff at Aledo High School Friday evening. The Honeybees advance to face Brownwood or Godley in the area round.
Stephenville head coach Alan Thorpe discusses the area title here:
Smith hit two 3-pointers during the prolonged 16-0 run that covered most of the first quarter and the opening stages of the second. It was 3-2 when the run began, and Smith was the star of it with two 3-pointers. Bridgeport scored its first points at 5:15 of the first quarter, and did not score again until cutting the Stephenville lead to 19-4 at 5:58 of the second.
Bridgeport did have some fight left in it as the Sissies outscored Stephenville 13-7 over the final six minutes of the second, cutting the Honeybees lead to 26-15 at half and eventually pulling within single digits twice in the third quarter.
But Smith knocked down her fourth 3-pointer to push the margin back to 39-27, freshman Jayci Morton drained a triple from the right corner to open up a 14-point lead and Bridgeport scored to cut it to 36-24 after the third.
The fourth was back and forth, with Stephenville answering every time Bridgeport tried to mount a charge. The Sissies hit a 3-pointer out of a timeout to trail 40-29 with five minutes left, then got within nine again on a put back just 30 seconds later.
But Liz Pack scored the biggest bucket of the final period for Stephenville, banking one off the glass, around the rim and through the net to restore the double-digit margin at 42-31 with 4:20 remaining.
Bridgeport blew an easy look inside – something that hurt both teams throughout the game – on its next possession, and Stephenville was in control following a Bayleigh Chaviers free throw and a steal and assist by Hobbs to set up a layup by Smith for a 45-31 lead with three minutes left.
Smith was the only Honeybee in double figures. Chaviers netted nine, Liz Pack six, Ali Thorpe five, Morton three, Wall two and Kaitlyn Pierce two.