Trailing by double digits in the third period, the Brownwood Lady Lions went on a 20-0 run, then held off a late fourth-quarter rally to upend the TGCA No. 13 Lampasas Lady Badgers, 57-52, Friday night at Warren Gym in District 6-4A girls basketball action.
The Lady Lions (8-9, 1-1) were coming off a 36-32 loss to No. 6 Glen Rose in the district opener, a game in which Brownwood could not hold on to the lead in the fourth period.
“We dug ourselves a big hole there in the first half and we had to dig ourselves out,” said Lady Lions 12th-year head coach Heather Hohertz “I thought my girls responded really well to the adjustments we made coming out of the locker room. I had to get on to them a little bit to wake them up, but I thought they responded tremendously in the second half, and we brought it.”
Tessa Goodwin led the charge for the Lady Lions with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Alexa Arreola contributed 16 points.
“Tessa was struggling early on with her shot, and she has some ruts where she struggles, but I expect a lot out of her and put a lot of pressure on her, and I thought she stepped up big in the second half,” Hohertz said. “Alexa was really discouraged after Tuesday’s loss. We were talking back and forth and she said ‘we were that close and should have had that game.’ I thought she was the reason we came back and won this game. This is her second year on varsity and last year she struggled a little bit, but she’s stepping into her role now and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Lindsey Larose tacked on nine points followed by Brooke Price with five, Jaylen Savage with four, and Kynslee Walker and CarolAnn Hetzel with two points apiece.
Lampasas (16-4, 0-2) was led by 16 points from Juliana Dwamena, 13 from Morgan Lovejoy and 10 from Paytons Tatum.
Trailing 13-10 after one quarter, Brownwood found itself behind 29-20 at halftime. Lampasas also tacked on the first points of the second half to open a 31-20 advantage just 23 seconds into the third period – but the Lady Badgers were held scoreless for the next 6:34.
“We took a terrible shot coming out of halftime and then we’re down 11, but we came back and stepped up big, hit some three-pointers, and Tessa started hitting some of her jumpers,” Hohertz said. “We weren’t rotating on defense early on and we got on them pretty good at halftime.”
The string of 20 straight points started with a free throw by Larose, then Arreola quickly followed with back-to-back three-pointers to trim the deficit to 31-27 at the 6:10 juncture. A free throw and bucket from Goodwin brought Brownwood within a point, 31-30, at the 3:37 mark, then Walker pushed the Lady Lions in front, 32-31, by sinking a pair of free throws just 40 seconds later. Buckets inside from Savage and Goodwin extended the advantage to 36-31, then Price drained a trey to pad the cushion to 39-31 with 1:39 left in the third. Goodwin added another free throw at the 1:14 mark to push the lead to 40-31 before Lampasas put a halt to the run 12 seconds later with a bucket in the paint from Lovejoy.
Brownwood’s nine-point lead was cut to seven, 42-35, by the end of the third period, and Lampasas fought all the way back to draw even at 46 with 3:52 to go.
The Lady Lions then answered with five free throws – one from Price and four from Arreola – to reclaim a 51-46 edge with 2:54 left.
Brownwood converted 21 of 35 free throws in the game, including 16 of 21 in the second half and 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter.
“We practice that every single day,” Hohertz said of the Lady Lions’ free throw shooting. “Step up to the line when you don’t have any defense on you and make a free throw. We responded really well down the stretch and Alexa hit some big free throws to seal the win for us.”
Lampasas again crept within a bucket, 51-49, with 2:03 left, but Goodwin converted a key basket at the other end to push the lead back to two possessions, 53-49, with 1:24 left. Arreola added four more free throws down the stretch to cap the victory.
Brownwood is back in action at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Gatesville (4-9, 1-0), which had a bye Friday after knocking off Lampasas, 55-49, in its league opener. In other 6-4A action Friday, No. 7 Stephenville defeated No. 6 Glen Rose, 40-34.