HILLSBORO — It just wasn’t in the cards for Killeen on Tuesday.
The Lady Kangaroos uncharacteristically committed 24 turnovers, were outrebounded 33-25 and fell 55-50 to Cedar Hill in the bi-district round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Killeen held a 29-27 lead over the Lady Longhorns at halftime, but was outscored 28-21 the rest of the way.
“It’s a tremendous loss — it hurts,” Lady Kangaroos head coach Jennifer Graham said afterward.
“Not just for the team, but for the fans and the support staff we had. The expectations were high, and we honestly didn’t come out and fill those expectations.”
Shianne Johnson paced Killeen (23-11) with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and she led the Lady Kangaroos to their two-point lead at halftime with 12 points, two rebounds and two assists in the first half.
Manesha Knox opened the scoring with a jumper from the right elbow for Killeen, and the two teams traded buckets in the first quarter until Cedar Hill eventually took a 17-15 lead into the second period.
Jacen Moore tied the game at 17-17 for the Lady Kangaroos with a basket from the right block after a feed underneath by Alexus Scharkley. Anzhane Hutton answered for the Lady Longhorns with two free throws before Moore put Killeen back up by two with two shots of her own from the charity stripe.
Moore’s two free throws kicked off a 10-0 run for the Lady Kangaroos. Scharkley added two free throws, Johnson scored on a putback, Cierra Penn traveled the length of the floor for a layup off her own defensive rebound and Johnson added another layup in transition during the spurt.
But Cedar Hill (25-10) quickly answered and ended the first half with an 8-2 run to pull within two at halftime. Dajinae McCarty made one free throw and a driving layup during the surge, Kayla Harris-Williams made a jumper from the charity stripe and ShaLeiyah Langston added a 3-pointer.
The Lady Longhorns continued their momentum into the third stanza, as they went on an 8-3 run to capture a 35-32 lead at the 5-minute, 16-second mark. Raija Todd opened the spurt with a jumper just inside the left wing, Langston scored on a layin in the paint, Taylor Hutchins scored from the left block and Daniellina Anozie scored on a layup.
Johnson responded for Killeen with a transition layup before Hutchins made one of two free throws. Todd made a right-handed shot in the lane for Cedar Hill, but Moore made a jumper in the lane and Jaida Burkes hit a trey from the right wing off a kickout pass by Johnson to put the Lady Kangaroos back up by one, at 39-38.
But Harris-Williams ended the third quarter with two free throws for the Lady Longhorns, and they never trailed in the fourth quarter en route to the win.
Cedar Hill led by as many as seven with 2:03 left in the game and held off a last-gasp comeback attempt by the Lady Kangaroos.
Moore had nine points and three rebounds for Killeen. Knox finished with seven points and three rebounds, and Burkes had six points and one assist.
Hutchins tallied 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Lady Longhorns. Todd had 13 points and four rebounds, and McCarty had nine points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
“We didn’t play our style of basketball that we wanted to play,” Graham said. “We had a lot of unforced turnovers. There were certain things we set up that we expected and needed to run, and a lot of it came where there were some things we thought were open and just had errant passes.
“The turnovers were detrimental, and it was uncharacteristic of us. We go for 10 or less turnovers, and we can’t win a game if we have 15 or more. We also missed some opportunities with boxing out and getting rebounds.
“It’s disappointing because our seniors — from Jacen to Kaya (Lovell) to Shianne and to Alexus — they gave their all, and it’s just sad for them that we had to go out this way.”