You can’t say the Granbury Lady Pirates aren’t putting in the extra work this basketball season.
For the third time in eight games they went overtime Tuesday. For the second time in those games they lost, this one being a 47-43 setback to Mansfield at the James Wann Sports Center.
The Lady Pirates (4-4) were forced into 35 turnovers by Mansfield’s unyielding press. They also went the final 13:40 of the contest without a field goal.
“I can’t comprehend how we stayed in the ballgame and we couldn’t score points,” said Lady Pirate coach Leta Andrews.
When Ashley Bonugli hit the Lady Pirates’ only 3-pointer of the night, it gave them a 35-26 advantage with 1:40 left in the third quarter. From that point, the Lady Tigers outscored them 21-8, with each Granbury point coming at the free throw line, where they were 8-12 in that stretch.
Morgan Northcutt did, however, make two clutch free throws for Granbury with four seconds left in regulation to force overtime. They came after Delana Lopez had given Mansfield a 41-39 lead on a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to play.
Prior to that time, Granbury had made nine of its first 10 free throws and 12 of 21 field goals. In the fourth quarter and overtime, however, they were 0-for-7 from the field and turned the ball over 15 times.
“We played in a panicked stage,” said Andrews.
The Lady Pirates’ four losses have been by a total of 14 points. Two of their four victories have been buzzer-beaters by two points, they have an overtime win, and a 26-point blowout victory.
And Tuesday began as though they might be on their way to another runaway win. Granbury led 11-2 after the first quarter, holding Mansfield to a pair of free throws. The Lady Tigers even had more turnovers (4-3).
In the second quarter, however, after Mansfield hit a couple of baskets, the Lady Tigers were able to increase their full-court press. Granbury turned the ball over 11 times in that period and was outshot 11-3 as Mansfield tied the game at 19 before Kali Jones’ two free throws put the Lady Pirates ahead 21-19 at the half.
Then, just as they’d done to start the game, Granbury came out strong in the third quarter. They used a 7-0 run, capped by Bonugli’s 3-pointer, to go up 35-26.
But one could see another Mansfield surge coming on as Lilley Vander Zee collected her fourth foul for Granbury and Sydnee Worlds of the Lady Tigers scored four points in 37 seconds to close the gap to 35-30.
The Lady Tigers took the lead by scoring the first seven points of the fourth quarter, capping an 11-0 run. From there, the teams traded points until the Lady Tigers took command in overtime.
Granbury had one final chance to force a second overtime before Briana Thomas hit a free throw with seven seconds left to seal the victory for Mansfield.
“Their quickness and aggressiveness just took over,” said Andrews. “They just got in the saddle and decided to pick it up, and we didn’t.”
Vander Zee, who led all scorers with 19 points and all rebounders with eight, fouled out with 1:09 left in regulation. The Lady Pirates are 0-3 in games in which she’s fouled out this season.
“We need to have patience with ourselves,” said Vander Zee, who has signed to play for the University of Texas in Austin next season. “We have the capability, but we need mental toughness and patience.
“We WILL get better. We need to not look at state. We need to look at Colleyville Heritage.”
The Lady Pirates entered the season ranked 15th in the state in Class 4A after coming off a regional semifinals appearance last season. They returned four starters from that squad, which posted their best season since 2003.
The Lady Pirates are off until Tuesday when they travel to Colleyville Heritage. It will be their seventh game away from home, with both of their home games being overtime losses.
Granbury lost 46-43 in overtime to defending state champion Mansfield Summit to open the season.
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Mansfield 2 17 11 11 6 – 47
Granbury 11 10 14 6 2 – 43
Granbury (4-4) scoring – Lilley Vander Zee 19, Morgan Northcutt 12, Ashley Bonugli 9, Erin Jones 3.
Mansfield scoring leaders – Sydnee Worlds 12, Delana Lopez 11.
3-pointers – Granbury: Bonugli 1. Mansfield: Lopez 1.
Rebounds – Granbury: Vander Zee 8. Team 25. Mansfield: Worlds 6. Team 17.
Blocks – Vander Zee 5.
Turnovers – Granbury 35, Mansfield 18.
2-point field goals – Granbury 11-24. Mansfield 11-30.
3-point field goals – Granbury 1-4. Mansfield 1-6.
Free throws – Granbury 18-24. Mansfield 22-40.