Robert E. Lee followed its plan almost perfectly to trail Rockwall by one point, 34-33, entering the fourth quarter.
And then there was the fourth quarter.
The Lady Raiders were outscored 15-0 until a free-throw by Ja’Kayla Bowie with 1.5 seconds remaining prevented a shutout but not much else in a 49-35 loss Saturday afternoon at Varsity Gymnasium.
The District 11-6A girls game was originally scheduled for Friday but inclement weather caused the game to be postponed.
The loss dropped the Lady Raiders (11-12) to 2-3 in the league standings with Rockwall (14-8) moving to 3-2.
“I thought we played really well for three quarters,” Lee coach Ross Barber said. “I thought we played as consistent as we have all year for three quarters.
“But when you go scoreless (in the fourth) against a team like that, they are going to execute and they are going to run their stuff. They weren’t even trying to get to the basket; they were just trying to run the clock down.”
A basket off a rebound and put-back by Rockwall’s Jordan Mathis made the score 40-33 with 4:12 remaining.
Mathis scored Rockwall’s next points too - on a free throw with 1:16 remaining.
The Lady Jackets played keep-away from the REL defenders for nearly three minutes before Lee was forced to foul.
Rockwall went 8 for 9 from the free-throw line in the final 1:16 to lead 49-33 before Bowie was fouled on a shot attempt with 1.7 seconds remaining.
Lee freshman Aaliyah Morgan led the Lady Raiders with 13 points and five rebounds.
Rockwall’s Mathis finished with a team-high 13 points with Mya Culiver adding 11 points. As a team the Lady Jackets finished with 10 steals and forced REL into 15 turnovers.
The Lady Raiders had success going inside to post Morgan, who scored nine points in the first half. REL built a 14-4 lead in the first quarter and, after allowing Rockwall to come back, trailed 24-23 at halftime.
In the third quarter, a steal and layup from Tyreesha Blaylock followed by a basket inside by Morgan gave Lee a 33-32 lead.
In what was an ominous sign of things to come, Rockwall ran down the final 1:36 before Alena Johnston scored to give the visitors a 34-33 advantage entering the fourth.
Morgan was held without a shot attempt in the fourth quarter as Rockwall employed a zone that sagged in on her and dared Lee to beat it from the outside.
“They (Rockwall) run straight up man half-court on everybody, but we went back to last year and my assistant coach (Emily Breedlove) said they went 2-3 zone on us last year when they beat us,” Barber said. “We’d prepared for the 2-3 zone, but when you come down and don’t do your job defensively and we give them two and three chances on offense … and then we go down and rush something or throw it out of bounds or turn it over, I’d be willing to bet we only shot the ball four or five times in the fourth quarter.”
Lee finished 0 for 9 in the final frame after REL went 15 for 24 in the first three quarters.
The Lady Raiders next face North Mesquite on the road on Tuesday.
District 11-6A Girls
Rockwall 49, Robert E. Lee 35
Rockwall 14 10 10 15 - 49
Robert E. Lee 14 9 10 2 - 35
ROCKWALL-Mya Culiver, 11; Jordan Mathis, 13; Gloria Drewery, 6; Alena Johnston, 8; Faith Mason-Vestal, 4; Haley Hicks, 7. FG: 18-41. FT: 12-14.
ROBERT E. LEE-Miya Pettigrew, 2; Heavunli Reese, 2; Tyreesha Blaylock, 4; Ja’Kayla Bowie, 6; Aaliyah Morgan, 13; Hannah Haynes, 3; Ke’Aja Lacy, 2; Alyssia Thorne, 3. FG: 15-33. FT: 4-5.
THREE POINT GOALS-ROC (3-13): Culiver, Drewery, Hicks. REL (1-8): Haynes.
RECORDS-Rockwall 14-8 (3-2); Robert E. Lee 11-12 (2-3).
NEXT UP-Rockwall at Mesquite, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; Lee at North Mesquite, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Red Raiders unable to overcome slow start at Rockwall
ROCKWALL - For the third game in a row, Robert E. Lee faced a double-digit lead in the early minutes of their game.
The first two times the Red Raiders were able to rally back and take the lead before falling short.
On Saturday on the road, Rockwall did not allow the Red Raiders to make up for their slow start in an eventual 69-56 loss.
Lee coach Alan Simmons said the closest the Red Raiders pulled was within six points in the fourth quarter. REL was forced to foul and Rockwall made its free throws.
“We just got down again. It’s the third straight game (this is has happened),” Simmons said. “We ended up playing well after that.”
The Red Raiders (6-10) dropped to 0-3 in the District 11-6A standings with Rockwall moving to 2-1 in district.
Lee will try and break into the win column at home Tuesday against North Mesquite. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Varsity Gym.
Rockwall 69, Robert E. Lee 56
Robert E. Lee 2 12 14 28 - 56
Rockwall 16 14 13 26 - 69
ROBERT E. LEE-Smith, 2; Davison, 11; Donnell, 6; Davis, 3; Mabry, 12; Amie, 6; High, 7; Culver, 9.
ROCKWALL-Wesley, 1; Grandstaff, 3; Crayton, 12; Garrett, 4; Winston-Pendleton, 8; T. Williams, 6; Taylor, 18; S. Williams 12.
THREE POINT GOALS-L: Davison (2), Mabry, Culver (3). R: Grandstaff, Taylor (4)
RECORDS-Robert E. Lee 6-10 (0-3); Rockwall (2-1).
NEXT UP-North Mesquite at Lee, 7 p.m.