By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
CORSICANA – The Lady Roos trailed by 13 at the end of the first period. A second-quarter comeback brought them to within eight at the end of the first half, but the Lady Roos were unable to repeat what they did against the University Lady Trojans a week ago: win.
Instead, they let the Lancaster Lady Tigers walk out of the Corsicana High School gymnasium with a 68-49 win in the bi-district playoff game.
"They killed us on the boards so that didn't work. We didn't play very good defense. We did everything that we didn't want to do," Lady Roos head coach Latisha Rosemond said.
Despite giving up 18 turnovers and 18 offensive rebounds, the Lady Roos trailed by only five points after senior Elise Kea hit a running jumper with 7:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. After the bucket, Kea looked as if she would repeat her performance last Tuesday night and carry the team to a win, but the Lady Tigers (20-6) scored on each of their next three possessions to re-establish an 11-point lead and nothing seemed to slow them in the final 6 minutes.
"One of our goals is to outlast the other team," Lady Tigers first-year head coach Beverly Lockett said. "We capitalized on their mistakes – calls going against them and them running out of gas – and started making the layups we missed in the first half."
Lancaster's Britney Kinney led all scorers with 20 points and seven rebounds. Brittany Bush added 14 points and eight rebounds and Lakeisha Burkes finished 11 points – all in the fourth quarter – and seven rebounds.
Killeen freshman Jasmine Baugus led the Lady Roos with 13 points and eight rebounds and Imani Dunn and Kea each contributed 10 points.
Bush led the Lady Tigers to a 12-0 run to start the game before Kea hit only the first of two free throws to put the Lady Roos on the board for the first time with six minutes gone in the opening period. Bush answered with a field goal at the opposite end but was unable to finish the three-point play after being fouled and Kea went down and hit the Lady Roos' first field goal to drop the Lady Tigers' lead to 11. Shanieque Guyton made good on an offensive board with less than 10 seconds to go in the first to give the Lady Tigers a 16-3 first-quarter lead.
"I told them we couldn't get into these first-quarter deficits," Rosemond said. "Nothing really went well for us tonight."
Dejanae Fountain led the Lady Roos' comeback in the second quarter with six of the Lady Roos' 15 points, but Lancaster's Kinney had eight for the Lady Tigers. Though the Lady Tigers only managed 10 points in the second period, they still had a comfortable 26-18 advantage going into halftime.
The Lady Roos outscored the Lady Tigers 15-10 in the second and 16-15 in the third, but could not break the seven-point spread until Kea's jumper in the fourth to cut the lead to five.
Unfortunately, no one stepped it up for the Roos to completely close the gap.
"We ran out of gas," Rosemond said. "And when you're down like that, you have no choice but to keep pressing. I thought DJ (Fountain) was going to (take over) but then she was just spent."
After Kea's runner, Burkes hit two consecutive field goals to push off Killeen and went on to score the rest of her points in the period. Lancaster put up 27 points on the winded Lady Roos in the final period while Killeen could only muster 15.
Neither team shot well from the free-throw line.
Killeen was 13-of-23 while the Lady Tigers were 10-of-21. But the Lady Tigers did have a clear advantage on the board. Killeen only had 20 rebounds on the night while the Lady Tigers had more than that by the end of the first half. Lancaster finished the night with 36 rebounds.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562