By BRAD KEITH
HAMILTON (February 23, 2016) — After 12 lead changes including 10 in an epic back-and-forth third quarter, Brownwood scored the final five points to eliminate arch-rival Stephenville and claim a spot in 4A girls basketball’s Sweet 16.
The teams traded early runs then settled in for a thriller at Hamilton High School Tuesday evening, with Brownwood surviving the rubber match, 48-42. The 6-4A rivals split their regular season meetings. Brownwood avenged falling to Stephenville in the same round in 2013.
Treasure Wilson scored 24 points to lead the Lady Lions, while Kali Smith paced Stephenville with four 3-pointers and 16 points.
Smith gave Stephenville its final lead with a 3-pointer to make it 36-35 just seconds into the fourth quarter. Brownwood was back in front for good, however, following penetration and a runner by Wilson, the story of the night for the Lady Lions.
Stephenville stayed within a possession most of the way, pulling within one on a pair of Jayci Morton free throws, on a 15-foot Smith jumper and for the final time on a runner in the paint by Bayleigh Chaviers before Brownwood pulled away.
The Lady Lions were strong out the gate, scoring the first seven points while its defense stymied all Honeybee efforts over the first four minutes of the game. But Stephenville, as it did all season, responded.
A Smith 3-pointer was the key to the Honeybee rally as they cut it to 10-8 before back-to-back Brownwood triples ended the first and began the second for a 16-8 margin. It was 18-8 before the Bees scored nine straight, with the second 3-pointer by Smith keying that rally.
Brownwood led 20-18 before Kaitlyn Pierce scored inside for Stephenville, tying the score at halftime. Pierce wasn’t the only Stephenville player to contribute off the bench as Ebony Green came in with a burst of energy and four of her six points during the run.
Chaviers scored seven for the Bees, Pierce four, Skylar Chipkan and Morton each netted three, Wall two and Ali Thorpe one.
TheFlashToday.com photos by BRAD KEITH