TEMPLE — The Ellison Lady Eagles were defeated, not beaten.
Almost immediately after suffering their first loss of the season to 5A No. 10 San Antonio Reagan, the Lady Eagles put their disappointment aside and beat 4A No. 2 San Antonio Brennan 40-38 in the Gold Bracket third-place game Saturday at the Chisholm Trail Classic at Temple’s Wildcat gym.
“I felt a whole lot more comfortable that we were going to get it because they’re very tough,” said Ellison coach Sherry McKinnon. “They didn’t want to lose (to Brennan) and they told me they weren’t going to lose. They were very, very determined.”
Ellison senior guard Codi Simmons, a late-season call-up from JV a year ago, hit two free throws with 5 seconds left to break a 38-38 tie and Brennan’s Tanaeya Boclair missed her shot at the buzzer to give the Lady Eagles’ the bounce-back win they wanted.
“After we lost to Reagan, we were down about it, but it was a new game. We had to let that one go and get this win for third-place,” Simmons said.
Simmons finished with eight points and all-tournament selection Deja Pointer scored 15 to lead the Lady Eagles (5-1).
After losing to Reagan 60-46, the Lady Eagles started the second of their back-to-back games on a 9-2 run before Brennan cut that to 9-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Simmons and Pointer hit consecutive 3s to start the second and Simmons’ layup with 3:40 left in the first half gave Ellison a 17-12 lead. Brennan again responded with six straight points, taking an 18-17 lead on a three-point play by Kiara Etheridge, the daughter of former Temple coach Bruce Etheridge.
Kanesha Saygo scored five of the final seven points of the half to give the Lady Eagles a 22-20 lead going into the break.
The Lady Eagles missed their first 10 shots of the third quarter and trailed 27-23 after a Boclair bucket, but Brianna Gray broke the Lady Eagles’ dry spell with a 3 on following an offensive rebound by Kaitlyn Shearer. Pointer followed with seven straight points, beginning with a go-ahead 3 that gave the Lady Eagles a 29-27 lead with 2:42 left in the third, and Ellison led 33-27 going into the fourth.
Brennan tied the game at 34 on a Boclair layup with 3 minutes left in the fourth and a 3 by Krystan Gomez gave Brennan a 37-36 lead with 1:14 left.
Jordanna Porter scored on an inbounds play to give the Lady Eagles a 38-37 lead with 45 seconds left and Ashlynn Graham tied the game for Brennan on a free throw with just under 20 seconds left before Simmons was fouled on a drive attempt to set up her game-winning free throws.
“It was crunch time, I had to drop them so we could take this win,” Simmons said.
Tem-Cats finish second in Gold bracket
Katara Chapel scored 14 points and Tyesha Taylor scored 13, but San Antonio Reagan outscored the Tem-Cats 24-13 in the second and third quarters and Temple’s rally in the fourth fell a point short, 45-44, in the Gold bracket championship game.
The Tem-Cats (5-1) jumped out to a 15-11 lead going into the second quarter and nursed a 23-22 lead at halftime before being outscored 13-5 in the third and trailed 35-28 going into the fourth.
Chapel scored 28 and Taylor added 15 in Temple’s 56-48 semifinal win over San Antonio Brennan earlier in the day. The Tem-Cats outscored Brennan 11-1 in the third quarter and 14-4 in the fourth to reach the championship game.
Lady Knights finish third in Silver bracket
JaQuan Jackson scored 22 points and Alexus Dukes scored 16 as No. 13 Harker Heights salvaged a forgettable tournament with a 56-48 win over Waco La Vega in the Silver bracket third-place game.
Harker Heights (3-2) suffered its two losses of the season in the tournament, matching its total number of losses last season, and trailed the Lady Pirates by five at halftime of the third-place game. The Lady Knights took a 45-44 lead into the fourth quarter and held La Vega to just five points in the final eight minutes. Jackson and Dukes were both all-tournament selections.
Heights lost to Converse Judson 69-44 in its opener Saturday morning, dropping its second straight game following the Lady Knights’ loss to Brennan in their final game Friday.
Jackson hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points against Judson.