The Granbury Lady Pirates went into their District 7-4A game against Fort Worth Arlington Heights Friday knowing if they won each of their remaining games they would no worse than share the league championship.
Now, thanks to a little help from Trimble Tech, Granbury can win the district if they, as coaches are won to say, “take care of business” in the second half.
Granbury had no trouble routing Heights 67-25. Then, the next afternoon they got some great news.
Tech had upset Aledo 50-42 in Aledo.
That combination of results left the Lady Pirates (15-11, 6-1 in 7-4A), Trimble Tech (20-5, 6-1) and Aledo (18-7, 6-1) tied atop the district standings with the second half of league play beginning last night.
Granbury defeated Trimble Tech 51-49 in Granbury, Aledo defeated the Lady Pirates 46-40 in Granbury, and, of course Tech completed the trifecta of each beating the other Saturday.
“We’re tied for first now, and we control our own destiny,” said Granbury coach Leta Andrews. “So here we go, we’re going for it (a district championship).”
The Lady Pirates have not won a district title since the 2002-03 season.
“I think we’ve got what it takes,” said Andrews. “There’s still a long ways to go, but the girls are playing some really good basketball right now.”
Friday’s win was the 10th in 12 games for the Lady Pirates after a slow start to the season. It was also one of the best games of the season for 6-4 all-state post Lilley Vander Zee, who has struggled with a back injury this season.
Vander Zee scored 15 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Morgan Northcutt was the leading scorer with 16 points.
Ashley Bonugli added 15 points as eight Lady Pirates scored in all.
“We got a great effort from everybody. It was a great way to end the first half,” said Andrews.
“We did some good things tonight. We moved the ball. Lilley didn’t get a single foul.”
Vander Zee had fouled out of the previous two games.
The Lady Pirates were in control of Friday’s game from the outset, jumping out to a 17-4 advantage after the opening quarter. They outscored Heights (5-14, 2-5) in every quarter, holding the Lady Yellowjackets to single-digit scoring in each.
The Lady Pirates pulled down 41 rebounds, with nine players grabbing at least one. They also had 18 steals distributed among nine players, led by Northcutt with four.
And, despite their aggressive play, they only committed nine fouls.
“I think this might have been one of our best games of the year,” Andrews said. “Everybody got involved.
“They were upset with their performance Tuesday (the loss to Aledo). We should be 7-0 and they know that.”
The Lady Pirates began the second half of district last night at South Hills (5-13, 0-7), a team they defeated 88-6 in Granbury on Dec. 11.
The Lady Pirates play Trimble Tech in Fort Worth at Billingsley Field House on Jan. 28. They travel to Aledo three days later on Feb. 1. Aledo travels to Fort Worth to play Trimble Tech at Billingsley on Feb. 5.
“It’s going to be an interesting second half, just like it was an interesting first half,” said Andrews. “And we’re right there in the middle of it.”
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Granbury 17 12 19 19 – 67
Arl. Heights 4 8 7 9 – 25
Granbury (15-11, 6-1 in 7-4A) scoring – Morgan Northcutt 16, Lilley Vander Zee 15, Ashley Bonugli 15, Kali Jones 6, Erin Jones 4, Whitney Matos 4, Bailey Cole 4, Lauren Clough 3.
Granbury rebounds – 41 (Vander Zee 15, Clough 7, Jones 5).
Granbury assists – 14 (Clough 3, Jones 3).
Granbury steals – 18 (Northcutt 4, Bonugli 3, Jones 3).
Granbury free throws – 16-24.