LINDALE â€” Pittsburgâ€™s Cheyenne Ramey spotted up from beyond the arc, stared down the basket and drained a 3-pointer as the horn sounded on the third quarter.
And just like that, the Lady Pirates were well on their way to the regional quarterfinals.
Rameyâ€™s buzzer beater gave Pittsburg a 14-point lead entering the final quarter, onto which the Lady Pirates clamped down en route to a 42-32 win over Bullard in a Class 3A girls basketball area playoff Friday night at Lindale High School.
â€śIt gave us a little oomph there that we needed,â€ť Pittsburg coach Debra Manley said. â€śWe were playing a little flat all night.â€ť
The Lady Pirates (30-5), ranked No. 15 in the state by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, advance to meet Spring Hill (18-17) in the third round next week. Bullard, meanwhile, completed the season at 24-10.
Ramey finished the night with 14 points to pace Pittsburg, which outscored the Lady Panthers 16-7 in the third quarter to turn a five-point halftime game into a near rout. She helped the Lady Pirates build a 17-point advantage midway through the fourth, a lead at which Bullard chipped away to make the outcome less one sided.
Bridgette Taylor, a sharpshooter herself, led all scorers with 15 points and finished the night with a trio of threes. Her performance came on a night when Pittsburg changed their defense to limit Bullardâ€™s top scorers, which disrupted the flow of the Lady Piratesâ€™ offense.
Thatâ€™s one reason Pittsburg allowed a 12-point lead with six minutes to go in the second quarter evaporate into a four-point advantage minutes later. The Pirates went into the break in adjustment mode but still led 19-14, then stormed into the third to increase the lead to 25-16 three minutes in.
â€śWe switched our defense up to shut them down, and it kind of took us out of our offensive mode,â€ť Manley said. â€śWe switched our defense back to what got us here and did that at halftime, and we picked it up a little bit. â€¦We put in a new defense just for this.
â€śIt worked, but it wore us out so bad I think it took us out of our offensive game a little bit. We were concentrating so hard on that, so we just switched it back.â€ť
And with a little more than a minute to go, Pittsburg returned the gap between the teams to double figures, 32-21, on a Meagan Peters basket. That preceded Rameyâ€™s buzzer-beating 3-pointer, which came in emphatic fashion to highlight a game in which she took only six shots â€” but drained all of them.
â€śThey tried to limit Cheyenneâ€™s touches, but every time she touched she scored,â€ť Manley said. â€śBut we still have other kids who can pick up the slack and go score, but sometimes they just wait until we tell them they are guarding Cheyenne and youâ€™ve got to go.â€ť
Class 3A Area Playoff
Pittsburg 42, Bullard 32
Bullard410711 â€” 32
Pittsburg136167 â€” 42
BULLARD â€” Lexi Kirgan, 4; Bridgette Taylor, 15; Madison Slayter, 3; Lexi Abercrombie, 10.
PITTSBURG â€” DeNasia Watson, 4; Meyika Farmer, 6; Meagan Peters, 6; Cheyenne Ramey, 14; Kasey Avinger, 4; Jasmine Walker, 2.
THREE POINT GOALS â€” B: Taylor (4). P: Ramey.
RECORDS â€” Bullard 24-10; Pittsburg 30-5.
NEXT UP â€” Pittsburg vs. Spring Hill, regional quarterfinals.