By GREG WEBB
After building a 14-point lead by the middle of the third quarter, the Aledo Ladycats had to hold off a charge by El Paso Hanks’ Lady Knights on Saturday, in the Class 4A, Region I finals in Snyder. Hanks fought back over a six-minute span to tie the score at 35-all.
Aledo overcame the shock of the comeback, trading leads for the balance of the final period before putting the El Paso team away, with a 50-48 win.
Aledo took the upper hand early in the match, and led by five points at the end of he first half. The Ladycats went on a run after the break to build the double-digit lead.
Senior Mallory Powell led the scoring for the Ladycats with 19 points. Justis Szczepanski-Beavers added 10.
With the dramatic victory, the Aledo girls head to Austin on Thursday to play in the semifinal match at either 7 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. against an opponent yet determined at press time.
The Ladycats earned their berth in the regional final with a stellar performance over Canyon on Friday, beating the Lady Eagles, 54-31.
Powell was again the spark for the Aledo offense, with the senior leading the way to a 17-point output by the Ladycats in the second quarter. The defense also took hold, limiting Canyon to just four points while the District 7-4A champs enjoyed a 15-point advantage going into the halftime locker room.
Powell punctuated the win in the final couple of minutes, stroking a long-range basket for three and draining a pair of free throws to cap off her scoring for the game at 24 points. Kaylee Black added 10 to the effort.