BELLS — In the playoffs, games can be turned in just a few minutes of play.
If adjustments aren’t made immediately, then a close game can turn into a loss in the playoffs where every point matters.
Such was the case Thursday night in the No. 1 ranked Saltillo Class 1A area basketball playoff game against Nocona Prairie Valley.
The Lady Lions won by a 55-23 score, but early on it was a different story in the game played here at Bells High School.
“We started slowly. We were down 6-2 and it took some defensive adjustments. We knew they (Nocona Prairie) was going to shoot 3-pointers. But they made some from 25-feet,” Garry Davison, Saltillo head girls basketball coach said with a nervous laugh. “So we had to adjust and go out on them. We settled into form and it was our defense which turned it around for us. We have relied on our defense all year. We came up with a bunch of steals and that led to easy buckets. We were using a trap in the corner which worked really well.”
Victoria Stretcher had 20 points to pace the Saltillo squad.
Davison said, “Once we got rolling it was all downhill for us and uphill for them. Chelsea Moore and Haylee Clover came in and really played well off the bench.”
Saltillo regrouped and had an 11-6 lead after one frame.
In the second period, the Lady Lions kicked their offense into high gear going on a 20-6 scoring burst to jump ahead 33-12 intemission.
The Lady Lions kept the pressure on and scored a dozen points in the third period, while only allowing five points to Prairie Valley.
Saltillo finished strongly, pulling away with a 12-7 run in the final quater. The Lady Lions got their 28th win of the year, by a 55-23 decision.
The Lady Lions will play the winner of the Dodd City/Campbell game against a team to be determined.
Scoring box, Saltillo 56, Prairie Valley 23
Saltillo 11 20 12 12 -55
Prairie Valley 6 6 5 7 -23
Saltillo - Victoria Stretcher 20, Chelsea Moore 7, Kendall Bain 6, Andrea Tippit 6, Karli Brewer 6, Haylee Clover 4, Ariel Tippit 2, Paula Boekhorst 2.
Next up - Saltillo, 28-5, vs. winner of Dodd City/Campbell game, TBA.
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