Highlassies edged out by No. 1 Odessa

Highlassies edged out by No. 1 Odessa

The McLennan Highlassies' run through the Region V Basketball Tournament came to an end in the semifinals with a hard-fought 76-64 loss to Odessa, the No. 1 team in the nation.

Odessa opened the game on a 4-0 burst comprised of a pair of free throws and a jumper all by Leticia Soares. Ashley Moore put McLennan on the board with a shot from the paint with 7:74 to play in the first quarter. The Lady Wranglers began to pull away early using a 7-0 run to take the 11-2 lead with 6:18 to go. Odessa took it's first double-digit lead of the game at 16-6 with three and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Lady Wranglers led by nine with 28 seconds to play in the first. Dariel Johnson hit back-to back 3-pointers for the Highlassies, one at the end of the first and the other at the start of the second quarter, to cut the lead to three, 21-18. The start of the second quarter appeared much like a 3-point contest as the two teams combined to drain five. Odessa led by 11, the largest lead of the first half, with 7:20 to play. McLennan's Velma Mitchell got three points the hard way with a layup and foul shot to pull the Highlassies within eight, 32-24. The Lady Wranglers led by 10 with 5:37 to play. A drive by Jaylonn Walker and a Mitchell floater trimmed the lead to six, 34-28. Mia Lundquvist hit two free throws with just over a minute to go before halftime to give Odessa the 36-28 advantage at the break.

The Lady Wranglers extended the lead back to double figures, 40-30, with 7:27 to go in the third but the Highlassies didn't back down. A Mitchell drive in the lane for two followed by a stop-and-pop 3-pointer by Walker and a free throw by Partickia Daily sliced the lead to four, 40-36. Odessa increased its lead to 11 in the final minute of the third but a bucket and ensuing foul shot by Walker followed by a pair of free throws by Jordan Mullins pulled Mclennan within seven, 55-48. Chinna Fair's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Lady Wranglers a 10-digit cushion going into the final period, 58-48. Odessa opened the fourth on a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 16. The Highlassies pulled within 11 down the stretch but was unable to recover.

Mitchell led McLennan with 25 points and Walker added 13.

Odessa: Kassie Ybarra 0 0-0 0; Mariah McCully 7 1-3 16; Sadie Russell 4 0-0 9; Destoni Willock 0 0-0 0; LaLa Robinson 3 0-0 7; Moa Lundqvist 5 6-8 16; Dominique Maxwell 0 0-0 0; Chinna Fair 5 5-6 19; Shannon Dozier 1 1-1 3; Leticia Soares 2 2-2 6; Totals: 27 15-20 76.

McLennan: Patrickia Daily 3 1-4 9; Colandria Haynes 0 0-0 0; Dariel Johnson 3 0-0 9; Jordan Mullins 0 2-2 2; Velma Mitchell 10 4-7 25; Jaylonn Walker 5 1-1 13; Nadia Hayes 1 0-0 2; Ashley Moore 2 0-0 4; Totals: 24 8-14 64.

3-pointers: Odessa 7 (Fair 4, McCully 1, Robinson 1, Russell 1), McLennan 8 (Johnson 3, Walker 2. Daily 2, Mitchell1); Total fouls: Odessa 20, McLennan 17; Fouled out: Odessa (Soares); Halftime score: Odessa 36, McLennan 28; Record: McLennan 18-13 (10-4).