Tuesday evening was the night the basketball court at Caprock High School stood still.

When the hardwood started moving again, the Class 3A No. 20 Canadian Lady Wildcats outlasted the No. 17 Denver City Fillies in a 44-42 overtime thriller.

After Denver City roared back from a 24-15 halftime deficit by outscoring Canadian 17-9 in the third quarter to pull within one, Canadian coach Kevin Richardson elected to slow the tempo to open the final period.

Canadian (31-5) took its opening possession of the fourth stanza, holding the basketball until the 2:54 mark. That's when 5-foot-9 senior post Taylor Atmiller scored inside off a dump pass from fellow senior Victoria Valenzuela to give Canadian a 35-32 lead.

Denver City (23-6) had multiple key players on the bench entering the fourth quarter, including star senior guard Holly Hemmeline, due to foul trouble.

After the Lady Cats held the ball – including a sequence where senior guard Salym Cook held the ball outside the 3-point line without even dribbling nearly the entire time – and scored, Phillies coach Chief Bridgforth elected to call a timeout to get his heavy hitters back on the court.

“Honestly, I just thought we needed to milk the clock,” Richardson said. “They had some kids that were not out there because of foul trouble, and I thought that was big for our team. I think that was the right play at the right time.”

Things got intense from that point forward, but the key to victory for Canadian was its free throw shooting. The Lady Cats made 19-of-24 shots from the charity stripe, while the Fillies were just 3-of-10.

“We practice free throws a lot,” Richardson said. “(We) are a good free-throw shooting team, and it only matters in the clutch. It’s easy to do when you’re up 40 points, but what do you do when it matters most – when the game is on the line in a tight playoff game?

“That’s what matters, and I thought we came up real clutch at the free-throw line.”

Five players scored for Denver City in the third quarter, led by Hemmeline with six – off two 3-pointers – and four points from junior Moraima Villegas.

Both squads stood up defensively in the fourth period, as the Fillies barely outpaced Canadian 6-5 in the stanza to force the first overtime.

In overtime, Lady Cats 5-10 post Mattie Boyd banked a turnaround jumper off the backboard to open the scoring. Hemmeline quickly answered for Denver City with a 3 from the right wing.

Along with its impressive free-throw shooting, making 3-of-4 over the last two minutes, Canadian’s defense stood tall in the contest’s most clutch moments to allow it to emerge triumphant.

Richardson was proud of his squad’s defense, especially the job Cook did while covering Hemmeline.

“(Hemmeline) is an unbelievable player,” Richardson said, “Maybe one of the best we’ve played all year long, quite honestly – just her shot making. She created a lot for everybody else.

“We were trying to take her away early, just limit her touches and limit her scoring ability. In the first half, they made several 3s, and I bet she assisted on every one of them.

“But the girl guarding her tonight, Salym Cook, has been our best defensive player for two years, for sure – if not the last three. She womaned up on her tonight and got after her.”

Canadian will face No. 1-ranked Wall (28-1) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in Abernathy in the area round.

Canadian 44, Denver City 42 (OT)

Canadian 10 24 33 38 44

Denver City 5 15 32 38 42

C—Taylor Altmiller 14, Mattie Boyd 13. DC—Jayleen Villarreall 11, Holly Hemmeline 11. Records: Canadian 31-5, Denver City 23-6.

 

CLASS 3A

Childress rolls past Peaster: Grace Foster's terrific night led the Childress Lady Cats to their first playoff win since 2013, downing Peaster 55-44 in a Class 3A bidistrict game in Anson on Tuesday.

Foster was lights out from the floor, scoring a game-high 31 points in the victory. Childress improves to 22-9 overall and will face Jim Ned in the area round at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Post.

Childress 55, Peaster 44

Peaster 12 17 33 44

Childress 16 31 43 55

P—Daijah Gilbert 13. C—Grace Foster 31. Record: Childress 22-9.

 

CLASS 6A

Tascosa routs Pebble Hills: It was a quick night of work for the Tascosa Lady Rebels as they eased past El Paso Pebble Hills 60-36 on Tuesday night in Vernon.

The Lady Rebels improve to 27-7 overall and now play Fort Worth Trimble Tech in the area round at 6 p.m. Friday in Childress.

Tascosa opened the game up in the second quarter, outscoring Lady Spartans 15-4 in the quarter, taking a 29-11 lead into half.

Tayjanna Pleasant had a team-high 12 points for the Lady Rebels while Jada Miller poured in 10.

Pebble Hills ends its season at 18-15.

Tascosa 60, El Paso Pebble Hills 36

EP Pebble Hills 7 11 26 36

Tascosa 14 29 44 60

EP—Triniti Anderson 13, Payton Fields 13. T—Tayjanna Pleasant 12, Jada Miller 10. Records: EP Pebble Hills 18-15. Tascosa 27-7.

 

CLASS 1A

Wildorado wins inaugural playoff game: Making the school's first ever playoff appearance in their in their inaugural season as a varsity program, the Wildorado Lady Mustangs made school history by getting their first ever postseason win. 

The Lady Mustangs made that history happen by stunning Silverton 41-35 in a Class 1A bidistrict game Tuesday night in Dimmitt.

Wildorado's incredible ride through its first season continues, as they improve to 12-8 overall. Head coach Christy Connelly's team will now go on to the area round where they'll face District 1-1A champion Follett (20-9) at a time and place to be determined.

Leading the way to victory for the Lady Mustangs was Jessica Merrell, who had a game-high 20 points.

Wildorado 41, Silverton 35

Wildorado 5 13 23 41

Silverton 3 17 32 35

W—Jessica Merrell 20. S—Patton 16. Record: Wildorado 12-8.

 

Claude takes down Higgins: The Claude Lady Stangs used a big second quarter to get past Higgins 56-37 in a Class 1A bidistrict game at West Texas High in Stinnett on Tuesday night.

Claude and Higgins were tied, 12-12, at the end of the first quarter, until Claude went on a 20-3 run in the second to take a commanding 32-15 lead into halftime.

Shilo Heck put up 22 points for the Lady Stangs, followed by Lanie Stapp's 14. Claude improves to 23-6 and will move on to the area round to play District 3-1A champion and two-time defending UIL 1A champion, Nazareth (25-7), at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Caprock Activity Center.

Cora Watson had a team-high 16 points as the Lady Coyotes end their year at 16-11 overall.

Claude 56, Higgins 37

Claude 12 32 40 56

Higgins 12 15 26 37

C—Shilo Heck 22, Lanie Stapp 14. H—Cora Watson 16, Cara Watson 10. Records: Claude 23-6. Higgins 16-11.

 

Groom rallies past Booker: It took a spark in the second half, but the Groom Tigerettes rallied to beat Booker 48-41 in the Class 1A bidistrict round on Tuesday night at West Texas High in Stinnett.

The Lady Kiowas led throughout the first half, taking a 24-18 lead into halftime. Groom got it going from the perimeter in the second half, knocking down seven, 3-point field goals led by Sydney Ritter and Halle Barkley.

Ritter and Barkley each hit three, 3-point bucets in the final two quarters as Groom outscored Booker 30-17 in the final two quarters.

Ritter and Barkley each finished with 17 to lead the Tigerettes. Groom (17-10) moves on to area and will face Valley (17-6) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Wellington.

Wendy Galvan led the Lady Kiowas with 20, as Booker ends the year at 10-15.

 

Groom 48, Booker 41

Booker 9 24 33 41

Groom 5 18 40 48

B—Wendy Galvan 20, Susana Ramirez 11. G—Sydney Ritter 17, Halle Barkley 17. Records: Booker 10-15. Groom 18-10.