ALVARADO — The playoff game was almost over before the war-painted Lipan boys had anything to get excited about.
Their sweethearts of the basketball court – the Lipan Lady Indians – met little resistance from the hapless Bynum Lady Bulldogs Friday night, cruising to an 80-point lead with a under a minute left.
The 100-point plateau was within reach, just a 3-point basket away. The savages on the sidelines were poised to strike. But the ball didn’t fall for their heroines, and the Lady Indians were stuck with a measly 78-point area-round win, 97-19.
Lipan coach Amber Branson said she doesn’t like lopsided scores, but said she had little choice.
“My starters … I’ll have to play them the next game and the next game and …”
The subs saw action, but Branson didn’t want her starters glued to the bench and not playoff-ready for the next game, the third playoff round last night against seventh-ranked Coolidge. Lipan is ranked sixth. The winner advanced to the Class A Division II Region III Tournament Friday and Saturday at Tyler Junior College and will meet Yantis or Bellevue at 5 p.m.
They may not say it publicly – well, at least one does – but the Lady Indians (29-4) have their sights focused on the ultimate prize – the state championship.
“It’s one down, five to go,” Lipan junior Shauna Coleman said after Friday’s win about the magic number for a state title.
Coleman, a huge factor under the bucket, poured in 27 points for Lipan. She added 10 steals and came within one rebound of a triple-double with nine.
Freshman Lanie Roberts led with 29 points, many coming on breakaway layups after Lipan’s full-court defense made steal after steal against bewildered Bynum (11-10). She also grabbed 11 rebounds.
It would have been over early in the third quarter if the court had been a six-man football field. Really, the lights could have been turned off after the first quarter because Lipan had more points than Bynum had for the entire game. It was 26-1 after the first period.
The Lady Indians hit a sizzling 60 percent of their 2-point field goal attempts, including Roberts’ near-perfect 11-for-12 performance.
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Class A Division II girls area playoff
Bynum 1 8 8 2 – 19
Lipan 26 24 27 20 – 97
Lipan (29-4) scoring – Lanie Roberts 29, Shauna Coleman 27, Taylor Herrera 10, Rhiana Michou 8, Kayla Wheeler 8, Ashleigh Mitchell 6, Shelby Bontke 4, Tallen Halliday 3, Katelyn Martin 2.
3-pointers – Lipan 4-19 (Herrera 2, Roberts 2), Bynum 1-6.
2-pointers – Lipan 36-60, Bynum 4-32.
Free throws – Lipan 13-20, Bynum 8-19.
Rebounds – Lipan 44 (Roberts 11, Coleman 9, Martin 6), Bynum 23.
Lipan assists – 29 (Michou 10, Roberts 5).
Turnovers – Lipan 9, Bynum 42 (Coleman 10 steals, Roberts 6 steals, Michou 5 steals).