No. 10 Stephenville needed overtime to get by Class 5-A Abilene, but the Class-4A Honeybees delivered a knockout blow over the final four minutes with a 63- 53 win at Gandy Gym Wednesday.
Despite not playing their smartest basketball, the Honeybees (13-1) came through when it counted after squandering a six-point lead with less than 25 seconds left in play. The Lady Bulldogs connected on the tying shot to knot the score at 50-50 with no time remaining.
“We had some silly turnovers, but give Abilene Wylie every credit,” Coach Jason Hodges said. “They are a great basketball team, and they are well-coached. They are one of those teams we always want to play because they are going to expose some of the things we need to work on.”
Against Wylie, patience was the Bees’ biggest foe, and despite getting numerous trips to the free-throw, Stephenville wasn’t getting all the calls it deserved, and it led to some hurried shots and turnovers.
“It was a different story in the overtime’s four minutes as Alee McClendon and Mya Wilson netted nine of the Bees’ 13 points, and Stephenville’s defense outrebounded and smothered any chance by Wylie.
McClendon led all scorers with 19 points that she spread evenly over five periods of play.
Mya Wesley and Jaylee Matthews were next on the scoring list with 12 points each, and the two Bees went about getting their points in different fashions. Matthews popped the net at the free-throw line nine times, while Wesley fueled the Bees in the fourth quarter with seven straight points, and she popped two three-pointers on the night.
“Once we got into overtime, we started knocking down some three throws, which was something we didn’t do well during regulation,” Hodges said.
Early on, it appeared Stephenville would treat the home crowd to a runaway as the Bees mounted a 7-0 lead and held Wylie scoreless through the first four minutes of play. Things switched around when Stephenville had four consecutive trips down the court without any points, and Wylie roared back to take a 10-8 lead into the second period.
Wilson and Wesley’s three-pointers highlighted the second frame for the Bees as Stephenville remained in a funk that drifted into the second half.
Down 22-21 headed into the third quarter, Stephenville found itself down 29-23 before going on an 8-0 run ignited by five points from Landri Withers and four from McClendon.
Jade Wilson also got things rolling in the second half getting five of her six points down the stretch. M Wilson and Withers finished the night with seven points each.
Stephenville now have a 9-day break before starting District play January 8 when the Bees host No. 9 Glen Rose (16-1).