After losing five of their first six District 8-6A games, the Lady Knights are back in the playoff race.

Despite suffering a 58-46 loss to No. 15 Waco Midway on Tuesday, Harker Heights is in a four-way tie for the final postseason berth.

While No. 18 Ellison (9-1), the Pantherettes (8-2) and Copperas Cove (7-3) are battling for a district championship, the Lady Knights, Killeen, Belton and San Angelo Central share identical 4-6 records with four games remaining.

Harker Heights opens the critical stretch with tonight’s road contest at San Angelo Central before returning home to face No. 18 Ellison on Tuesday. The Lady Knights close the regular season with games against Copperas Cove and Shoemaker — the district’s lone winless team.

Harker Heights went 1-3 against the quartet during the first round, losing by a combined 12 points.

With one of the most difficult closing schedules, the Lady Knights will be challenged to separate from the pack, but turning their season around was not easy either.

On the heels of a fourth consecutive loss, Harker Heights ended the skid by beating the Lady Grey Wolves 53-40 before defeating Killeen 54-45. Then, last week, the Lady Knights extended their winning streak to three games with a 39-37 win against Belton, earning a season sweep versus the Lady Tigers and the accompanying head-to- head tiebreaker.

The streak ended Tuesday against the Pantherettes, who have won eight consecutive district games, but Harker Heights if the schedule plays out in the Lady Knights favor, they could be in sole possession of fourth place by the end of the night.

Killeen plays at Midway, and Shoemaker is hosting Belton.

SOCCER

The Knights kicked off district competition with a 5-0 home win against Killeen on Tuesday with five players contributing to the total.

Andre Rich got things going by recording his first varsity goal before senior George Santos gave Harker Heights a 2-0 advantage thanks to an assist from Justin Williams.

Abdullah Irfan, a senior, inflated the Knights’ cushion to 3-0, converting teammate Miguel Primero’s second assist of the match.

Samad Qurashi’s penalty goal put Harker Heights up 4-0, and Primero capped off the contest with his second goal of the season.

Defensively, goalkeeper Miguel Dosal recorded the shutout.

Around the district, Belton collected a 6-0 victory against Copperas Cove, while San Angelo Central beat Shoemaker 7-0, and Midway defeated Ellison 4-2.

The Knights return to action tonight against the Tigers.

The Lady Knights opened district play with a 2-0 victory against Killeen on Tuesday.

In other district competition, Belton dominated Copperas Cove 10-0, while Midway routed Ellison 9-0, and San Angelo Central cruised to an 8-0 win against Shoemaker.

Harker Heights will look to build on the performance tonight against visiting Belton. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

SOFTBALL

The Lady Knights will play their first scrimmage Monday, hosting Salado. The contest is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Harker Heights also has a multi-team scrimmage set for Feb. 3 and another against Gatesville on Feb 6.

An alumni/family day is scheduled for Feb. 10, and the Lady Knights open their regular season schedule Feb. 13, when they travel to play Temple. District play begins March 6 at Midway.

BASEBALL

Along with every other team in the state, the Knights can officially begin practicing today.

Harker Heights will spend the upcoming day preparing for their first scrimmage at Cedar Park Vista Ridge on Feb. 5. The Knights also have scrimmages against Elgin and Temple (Feb. 10), Bastrop (Feb. 13) and Lorena and Pflugerville Connally (Feb. 17) before beginning the regular season at the three-day Frisco Heritage tournament, beginning Feb. 22.

WRESTLING

After defeating Copperas Cove 42-24 in a dual meet, Harker Heights returns to the mats Wednesday for a dual meet at Hutto.

The two-day district tournament is set to begin Feb. 9 with regionals starting Feb. 16. The state tournament will be Feb. 23-24 at Cypress.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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