FORNEY — The Lindale Lady Eagles appear to be playing their best basketball when it counts, evidenced by a 66-54 victory over Sherman in the Class 4A area round on Friday night at North Forney High School.
Neeley Doss scored a game-high 21 points and saved all three of her treys for late in the game as the Lady Eagles closed out Sherman.
A great defensive effort was the key to a 20-6 first-quarter lead, and a commanding 37-17 advantage at halftime.
“We started off the game playing some really good defense and working for good shots,” Lindale first-year coach Brandon Walters said. “I think we held them to only four field goals in the first half, and the girls are really picking up a new system well right now.
“Slowly throughout the year we have gotten better each game out and the kids are still getting used to the system,” Walters continued. “And we still find something in every game that we know we can improve on and we work on it and the girls just seem to be playing our best ball when it counts.”
Lady Eagle Natasha Malone was in double digits for Lindale with 17 points as Lindale put seven players in the scorebook.
Zhanelle Geathers and Paige Murphy added nine and seven points, respectively.
Sherman warmed up to outscore the Lady Eagles in the final half, chipping into the 20-point halftime Lindale lead.
Sherman was led by Veronica Hunter with a team-high 18 points, while Danielle Crockett added 17 points.
Lindale advances to play Mansfield Summit, a 61-47 winner over Wylie, in the regional quarterfinals next week.
Class 4A Girls Area Playoff
At North Forney High School
Lindale 66, Sherman 54
Sherman 6 11 14 22 — 54
Lindale 20 14 12 20 — 66
SHERMAN — Veronica Hunter, 18; Kayla Wash, 3; Alyssa Keys, 7; Danielle Crockett, 17; Amanda Softly, 9.
LINDALE — Paige Murphy, 7; Hannah Malone, 3; Natasha Malone, 19; Symonne Brookins, 2; Neeley Doss, 21; Makenna Allen, 5; Zhanelle Geathers, 9.
THREE-POINT GOALS — S: Hunter 2, Wash, Keys, Softly. L: Doss 3.
RECORDS — Lindale 27-5, Sherman 23-12.
NEXT UP — Lindale vs. Mansfield Summit, regional quarterfinals.