HS Girls Basketball: Conroe starts UIL playoffs with win over Westfield
SPRING TX -- For the second year in a row, the Conroe Lady Tigers advanced to Area Round of the UIL 6A Girls Basketball Playoffs. The Tigers (District 15 4 seed) defeated the Westfield Lady Mustangs (District 16 1 seed) 43-39 at Grand Oaks HS on Monday night.
The playoff jitters were evident for both teams throughout most of the first quarter. Both Conroe and Westfield were filled with adrenaline, resulting in fast-paced play, but not the most effective play. Conroe dealt with missed layups and turnovers and it was clear that once the team settled in, the game was going to look much different going forward. Westfield held an 8-4 lead going into the second quarter.
Conroe did regroup in the second frame and began to find their rhythm by focusing on working the ball down low in the paint. Once the first-quarter mistakes were corrected, Conroe’s game began to flourish. A theme for most of the night would be Conroe’s fast-break layups. Kennedy Powell and JaKayla Bradford’s speed allowed them to consistently get out ahead of Westfield defenders and get open looks at the rim. The combination of strong post play led by Lilly Rodel and the Tigers fast-break scoring, Conroe was able to get back in the game and go into the locker room with confidence and the game tied at 18.
The third quarter was where Conroe activated their 2K Team Takeover, especially on the defensive end of the court. The Lady Tigers swarmed and smothered Westfield shooters everywhere they went. The Lady Mustangs had no choice but to turn the ball over or force bad shots, resulting in just three points scored by Westfield in the third. Meanwhile, Conroe made sure the great effort on the defensive end didn’t go to waste by consistently finding strong scoring opportunities and converting them. The Tigers closed the quarter on a 15-3 run to take a 33-21 lead into the final quarter.
Finishing games will be something that coach Tamisha Houston will talk to her team about over the next few days. Conroe was in a position to win comfortably, but the Tigers had trouble dealing with the Westfield press and gave away the ball too many times down the stretch.
The Tigers kept it together just long enough to hold on to the four-point win, led by Kennedy Powell (11 pts) and JaKayla Bradford (9 pts), setting up an Area Round matchup against the winner of Cypress Lakes and Henderson. Area games will take place on February 20-22.