CORSICANA — After closing the gap to one point, Harker Heights was looking for a timeout as the final seconds were ticking away.
Ultimately, that timeout wasn’t granted and the Lady Knights season came to an end, 43-42, against Tyler Lee (27-7) on Tuesday at Navarro College.
Lady Knights head coach Shirretha Nelson had to rally the emotions of her young team and she did so with class and poise.
“I told them if you feel like you gave everything you possibly could from the time the tip went up to the buzzer, then there is nothing more you can do,” said Nelson. “You have to put your best foot forward every night, and if you’ve put forth your best effort in the game and practice, then you need to be proud of that.”
After starting the game in commanding fashion, the Lady Knights (23-9) gave up a 6-0 run to Tyler Lee to end the first quarter down 10-6.
Celise Bobbit was able to come away with a steal and go coast-to-coast for a bucket to give Harker Heights its first points of the game.
Brielle Dorsey got in on the action with a strong move in the paint and the Lady Knights led 4-0.
Once the nerves went away, the Lee offense found its rhythm.
Empress Roberts provided a much needed spark for the Lady Knights early in the second quarter.
Destiny Pemperton got her first points of the game in the second quarter and connected on her free throw after being fouled.
The Lady Knights began to apply pressure and Lee struggled to overcome their press.
Sierra Brooks and Bobbitt swung the momentum for Harker Heights during the third quarter.
Brooks had two steals and four points in a matter of seconds, which forced a Lee timeout.
The duo finished the third quarter with 11 points, three steals and three rebounds, which gave the Lady Knights their first lead of the game while ending a quarter.
“They’ve been consistent throughout the course of our season to make us successful,” said Nelson. “I feel like offensively we have many weapons, but those two kids have been spot-on when we needed it.
The Lady Raiders tied the game at 37 with 2:36 remaining and began playing keepaway. The lead was their first since the end of of third quarter.
Even though the game didn’t end the way the Lady Knights envisioned, they have a lot to take away entering next season.
“It’s a lesson — every win or loss is a lesson,” said Nelson. “I personally feel like we waited to execute a little late at times and we didn’t make good decisions, but I feel like those are things we can learn from as we progress and grow as a team.”
GIRLS BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS
Class 6A bi-district
- Rockwall 49, Killeen 33
- Tyler Lee 43, Harker Heights 42
Class 4A bi-district
- Fredericksburg 55, Salado 47