Lorena Perez and Katie Law each had double-doubles and Salado clinched the final playoff spot in District 27-4A with a 62-41 rout Friday at Taylor.
Perez had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Law finished with 12 points and 11 boards, including eight on the offensive glass. Amanda Cantu contributed six steals and six assists.
The Lady Eagles close the season Tuesday with senior night at home against Burnet.
BELTON 39, WACO 33: At Waco, Natasha Blizzard scored 16 points and the Lady Tigers took over sole possession of fourth place when Killeen lost at Ellison on Friday.
Belton and Killeen entered the night tied for fourth place, but the Lady Roos held the tiebreaker for the final playoff spot because they won both games against the Lady Tigers during the 12-6A season. That put Killeen in control of the playoff race.
But now Belton has control. The Lady Tigers (9-6 12-6A) are headed to the playoffs if they can beat district leader Waco Midway at home in Tuesday's regular season finale. They also clinch if Killeen loses its season finale at home against Waco.
Beating Midway is a tough assignment, but Belton almost pulled it off Jan. 4 when the Lady Tigers lost 51-47 in overtime at Midway.
WACO CONNALLY 53, GATESVILLE 49: At Gatesville, Heaven Lang-Tucker scored 30 points to lead the Lady Cadets to a victory in District 18-4A play.
The Hornets, who were eliminated from the playoff race Tuesday, never recovered from Connally's 11-2 run to start the game. They trailed 21-13 at halftime, and 36-25 after three quarters before finishing with a 24-point fourth-quarter burst.
Allaiya Jones led Gatesville (2-7 18-4A) with 13 points before fouling out. Ainsley Warren and Kaylee Jaynes each added eight points. Alayna Washington and Kaylan Summers, who also fouled out,
scored seven each.
Connally made 13 of their 15 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold off Gatesville. The Lady Cadets were undefeated and ranked as high as No. 3 in the state before dropping out of the rankings after losing three of four in the brutal 18-4A race.
The Hornets end the season Tuesday at No. 20 Robinson.
TAYLOR 77, SALADO 72: At Taylor, Devin Garcia scored 24 points and the Ducks knocked the Eagles out of a first-place tie three days after Salado upset No. 17 Liberty Hill to get there.
The two teams are now tied for second (5-2) in District 27-4A and split the season series. Salado won 48-46 in Salado on Jan. 15.
Eli Pittman and Shane Roche each scored 14 to lead Salado. Jeremy Jarvis and Zack Shaver added 13 apiece.
Salado led 21-13 after one quarter, but the Ducks (24-5) took a 32-29 lead at the half. They increased the lead to 53-43 heading into the final period and held off the Eagles by going 12-for-16 at the foul line.
Salado hosts Burnet on Tuesday while the Ducks travel to Liberty Hill.
WACO 68, BELTON 66: At Waco, Jimmy Veal scored on a runner in the lane in the final second and the Lions rallied from an 18-point deficit to grab sole possession of fourth place with a week and a half left in the regular season.
The Tigers (12-19, 4-9) fell two games behind the Lions with three games remaining in the race for the final 12-6A playoff spot. And they remained a game behind fellow playoff contenders Killeen
and Copperas Cove.
Belton led 59-41 less than three minutes into the second half. Waco (19-11, 6-7) then rallied after switching to a full-court press.
Kayden Downs led Belton with 22 points.
Belton hosts Waco Midway on Tuesday. The Lions travel to Killeen.
NO. 16 SHOEMAKER 69, COPPERAS COVE 44: At Copperas Cove, the Grey Wolves clinched a share of the District 12-6A title with a road win.
Shoemaker remained two games ahead of Ellison with two games remaining. The Wolves (13-1 12-6A) are 2 1/2 games ahead of Midway, which has three remaining.
Tyrese Taylor led Cove (18-14, 5-8) with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Bulldawgs are a game behind Waco, and tied with Killeen, in the race for the final 12-6A playoff spot.
Cove hosts Temple on Tuesday. The Wolves host Shoemaker.
HARKER HEIGHTS 3, WACO MIDWAY 2: At Harker Heights, Miguel Primero scored twice and the Knights handed the Panthers their first 12-6A loss and knocked them out of first place.
Primero scored with two minutes remaining to break a 2-2 tie. The Knights remain unbeaten in 12-6A play at 3-0-3 and moved a point ahead of Midway (4-1) for second place.
Before Primero opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Heights keeper Carlos Ruiz made a leaping deflection of a well-struck Midway shot that was headed just underneath the crossbar. It proved to be a deciding save.
Despite that, Midway led 2-1 until an own goal, forced by the Knights' Justin Williams, tied the match. Williams got past the last Midway defender on a counterattack but was too close to beat the keeper so he slipped a crossing pass to the other side that Midway poked into the goal.
SALADO 2, JARRELL 0: At Jarrell, Nicholas Lemus had a goal and assist as the Eagles remained undefeated in 27-4A play.
Freshman Toby Rios opened the scoring in the first half. Lemus added an insurance score midway through the second half, assisted by Brian Chavez.
Keeper Lucas Morvant earned the clean sheet in goal
Salado hosts Florence on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
BELTON 6, KILLEEN 0: At Belton, Taylor Gurnett started both halves with a goal and the Belton girls soccer team went on to beat Killeen.
Kirsten Bush and Evie Nix scored last in the first half as the Lady Tigers (5-0, 15 pts 12-6A) took a 3-0 halftime lead.
Izzy Rhoads and Maddie Harris also scored for Belton.
Killeen fell to 1-5 in 12-6A.
SALADO 4, JARRELL 0: At Jarrell, Aubrey Heffner scored twice, and Avery Wright and Emma Grant split time in goal for the clean sheet in the Lady Eagles' victory.
Mackenzie Miller and Madisyn Maddux also scored for Salado. Sam Vargas and Hannah Reavis were credited with assists.
FRIDAY'S BOYS BASKETBALL
- Ellison 81, Killeen 56
- No. 16 Shoemaker 69, Copperas Cove 44
- Waco 68, Belton 66
- Waco Midway 59, Temple 35
- China Spring 55, Robinson 42
- Lorena 61, Waco La Vega 52
- Waco Connally 65, Gatesville 49
- Burnet 45, Lampasas 20
- Taylor 77, Salado 72
FRIDAY'S GIRLS BASKETBALL
- Belton 39, Waco 33
- Copperas Cove 63, Waco 50
- Ellison 65, Killeen 58
- Waco Midway 58, Temple 45
- No. 14 Lorena 41, Waco La Vega 31
- No. 20 Robinson 48, China Spring 40
- Waco Connally 53, Gatesville 49
- Burnet 66, No. 23 Lampasas 44
- No. 22 Liberty Hill 92, Austin Eastside Memorial 17
- Salado 62, Taylor 41
- Belton 2, Killeen 0
- Harker Heights 3, Waco Midway 2
- Shoemaker 3, Waco 1
- Temple 4, Ellison 1
- Gatesville 11, Waco Harmony 0
- Liberty Hill 5, Florence 0
- Salado 2, Jarrell 0
- Belton 6, Killeen 0
- Temple 2, Ellison 0
- Waco Midway 3, Harker Heights 0
- Gatesville 7, Waco Harmony 0
- Lampasas 6, Rockdale 0
- Liberty Hill 19, Florence 0
- Salado 4, Jarrell 0