GLEN ROSE – With the exception of senior guard Morgan Northcutt, the Granbury Lady Pirates were inexperienced when it came to handling basketball playoff pressure.
That quickly changed in Wednesday’s 50-46 Class 4A bidistrict overtime victory against Burleson Centennial at Tiger Arena.
With under a minute to go in overtime and the Lady Pirates down 46-45, Granbury forced a turnover. Freshman Amber Strange then fed the ball to junior Kennedy Shelstead, who scored and was fouled.
She sank the subsequent free throw for a two-point lead, but there was still plenty of time – 40 seconds – for the Lady Spartans to tie the score or take the lead.
Then, Granbury’s Bryce Frank stole the ball and dished off to Northcutt. She was fouled and went to the line for a 1-and-1 situation with 17 seconds to play.
Northcutt, who owns the school record for having made 57 consecutive free throws earlier this season, calmly sank both shots to push Granbury’s lead to 50-46.
Following a timeout, Centennial launched a couple of desperation 3-pointers, but to no avail.
“We told Morgan to get the ball, so when Bryce made that steal, she knew exactly who to look for,” said Lady Pirates coach Leta Andrews, whose team overcame an early 11-point deficit.
The victory moved the Lady Pirates (19-12) into an area-round matchup against Wichita Falls Rider (26-6), the state’s No. 21 team.
“She (Andrews) told us to play the best defense of our lives,” said Frank. “Then, when I saw Morgan get fouled, I knew we were going to win.”
Northcutt said she closed her eyes and imagined being somewhere else.
“I thought about being back at my house, just shooting for fun and practice,” she said.
On her 3-point play, Shelstead had to do some maneuvering in the lane.
“It was just a great feeling when it went in, and I knew I had my free throw coming,” she said.
Granbury, third in 7-4A, fell behind 19-8 early in the second quarter as 8-4A runner-up Centennial (21-8) got four 3-point baskets from sophomore guard Lorin Worthington.
Granbury adjusted its defense and held Centennial without a field goal for 11 minutes, triggering a 24-9 run
Sophomore reserve guard Erin Jones then hit a 12-foot shot in the lane for a 41-39 Granbury lead. Centennial’s 6-foot senior post Brooklyn Garcia forced overtime with 21 seconds left in regulation.
[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 256
Girls Class 4A Bidistrict Basketball
in Glen Rose
Granbury 4 13 13 11 9 – 50
Burl. Cent. 13 10 5 13 5 – 46
Granbury (19-12) scoring – Morgan Northcutt 13, Bryce Frank 11, Kennedy Shelstead 11, Amber Strange 9, Erin Jones 4, Carolyne Forrest 2.
Burleson Centennial (21-8) scoring – Lorin Worthington 18, Brooklyn Garcia 12, Cassidy Barbare 7, Megan Benson 6, Lacey Burns 3.
3-pointers – Granbury: Shelstead 2. Centennial: Worthington 5, Barbare 1.
Rebound leaders – Granbury: Frank 14, Strange 10. Centennial: Garcia 9.
Assist leaders – Granbury: Strange 3, Northcutt 3. Centennial: Garcia 3.
Steal leaders – Granbury: Frank 3. Centennial: Worthington 2.
Block leaders – Granbury: Frank 1. Centennial: Garcia 1.
2-point FG – Granbury 16-38 (42 percent). Centennial 11-27 (41 percent).
3-point FG – Granbury 2-13 (15 percent). Centennial 6-14 (43 percent).
Free throws – Granbury 12-13 (92 percent). Centennial 6-14 (43 percent).
Total rebounds – Granbury 38 (15 offensive). Centennial 23 (3 offensive).
Total assists – Granbury 10. Centennial 6.
Total steals – Granbury 7. Centennial 4.
Total blocks – Granbury 1. Centennial 1.
Turnovers – Granbury 18. Centennial 15.