Tia Harston doesn’t look like a freshman. She doesn’t play like one, either.
Harston scored all 13 of her points in the first half, leading Killeen to a 46-22 win over Waco Midway on Friday and clinching District 8-5A’s final playoff berth.
“She doesn’t look like a freshman out there,” said Killeen coach Latisha Williams. “She’s coming into her own and has been growing up before our eyes during district.”
With the Pantherettes double- and triple-teaming Lady Roos’ senior post Jasmine Goodwine, Harston took advantage.
“Harston saw (Midway) double- and triple-teaming Goodwine. She knew she was open,” Williams said.
Harston added: “I was confident and focused and Jasmine helped me out a lot. I felt good tonight.”
With the box generally full of defenders determined to surround Goodwine, Harston took control. She drove to the basket, went to the foul line and hit two 3-pointers during the first half and scored half of Killeen’s 26 points during the half. The second half went back to normal for the Lady Roos (17-11, 7-4).
Goodwine scored 10 points in the third quarter on her way to 18 and 11 rebounds.
“Once they started to cover me more it opened Jasmine up down-low and she was able to finish,” said Harston, whose defense was also superb, tallying nine steals on the night.
Williams expects the word on Harston to spread thought the district — at least the respect aspect.
“This is going to change how teams defend us — we have a (threat from the outside) so now it’s like (pick your poison),” Williams said. “Harston had a great overall game.”
Midway (9-19, 3-8), missing two starters with injury and sickness, was never a serious threat. Senior Johlicia Williams scored her only basket of the night and Harston hit four-straight free throws and the lead grew 10-4 before Midway coach Todd Monsey called a timeout.
Killeen’s team-defense stifled and stymied the Pantherettes for the entire game but at no point was the dominance more evident than in the second half.
The Lady Roos allowed just six second-half points and held Midway without a field goal for 11 minutes. The Pantherettes only had one field goal made during the entire half — the rest of their points came from the charity stripe. Midway faces Shoemaker on Tuesday and Killeen travels to Belton.