By BRAD KEITH
MIDLOTHIAN (December 10, 2016) — Stephenville held Midlothian Heritage scoreless in the fourth quarter and pulled away to win the champion game of Heritage’s tournament, 51-32, Saturday evening.
The Honeybees (12-3) won their fifth straight, all in the tournament, and did it with their trademark man-to-man defense. There were no field goals in the fourth quarter, when the only points came on seven Honeybee free throws.
Jayci Morton scored 12 to lead Stephenville while Hailey Martin added nine, including two first quarter 3-pointers to help the Bees play from in front the rest of the way.
The second quarter was back and forth until a strong push by the Bees leading into halftime. Blair Landes connected on a pull-up 12 footer, Jordan Carter knocked down two form the foul stripe and Liz Pack scored inside off an assist on the dribble drive by Martin. It all added up to a 25-17 lead at intermission.
The Bees really took over in the final minutes of the third quarter, scoring eight straight for a 15-point lead. Morton hit two free throws and Ebony Green one to begin the surge. Martin then dealt an assist that left Landes open for a right-wing 3 that she buried before Morton attacked and hit a contested runner in the paint to push it to 44-29.
Heritage drained a 3 at the third quarter buzzer, cutting it to 44-32, but those would prove to be its final points of the game.
“We did it with defense. I didn’t think we played very well defensively the first three quarters,” said Stephenville head coach Alan Thorpe. “But in the fourth quarter we did, and it was enough.”
Ebony Green chipped in seven points while Payton Wall and Carter each netted sex. Landes tallied five, Tesslie Baker four and Liz Pack two.
Stephenville had just enough in its Friday pool games to reach the tournament final. The Honeybees edged Bridgeport, 44-42, in a rematch of an area round playoff that Stephenville won last season for its seventh consecutive area title. They also tripped up Fort Worth Chisholm Trail, 49-48.
Thursday pool play was another story, with Stephenville cruising past Fort Worth Paschal, 50-26, and Ferris, 41-14.
The Bees open 8-4A district play Tuesday at Waxahachie Life. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. but could be earlier pending the end of a 5 p.m. junior varsity contest.