The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

January 29, 2013

H.S. Basketball: Pressure defense helps Palestine to vital district win

A couple of times during the Palestine girls’ basketball team’s game Tuesday against visiting Groesbeck, the lights in the Palestine High School gym flickered as a storm blew through the area.

But, the lights never full gave out. It was a perfect metaphor for the Ladycats season.

Trailing 27-19 at halftime, the Ladycats were on the verge of all but being eliminated from postseason contention. But, Palestine regrouped during the half and used a stifling press defense to turn things around in the third quarter en route to a 49-39 victory.

With the win, Palestine can do no worse than finish tied for third with the Lady Goats in 19-3A. If that happens, a play-in game would be required.

But, if Groesbeck falters to Rusk in its season finale or Palestine can knock off either Mexia or Fairfield, the Ladycats are in, no strings attached.

The game changed thanks to two big Palestine runs both coming in the third and both thanks in large part to the Ladycats’ pressure defense.

Palestine opened up the third on a 11-0 run, as the Lady Goats were unable to get the ball across halfcourt in the quarter’s 2:30.

It was in that run that Palestine tied things on a lay-up from Kierra Wilson, and Paradyse Page then stole the ball from the Lady Goats, drove in for a lay-up that she and was fouled, making the free throw to give Palestine a 30-27 lead.

It was a lead the Ladycats never gave back.

Groesbeck finally broke the press with 5:20 left in the third, but the pressure didn’t stop.

After Palestine forced a turnover less than two minutes later, a Groesbeck player was called for a technical foul for slamming the ball down in frustration.

It didn’t stop there, either. That was part of a small — at the time — 4-0 Palestine run that eventually was a double-digit run.

Dana Whitehead hit one of the two technical free throws to make it 39-32 before Page hit a three-pointer to extend the lead to 10.

From there, it was just a matter of maintaining the lead, which Palestine did with relative ease, never letting Groesbeck get any closer than eight points.

Whitehead finished with a double-double in the win, scoring a team-high 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Page finished with 12 points while Wilson had 10 in the win, which moves Palestine to 10-12 overall and 3-3 in 19-3A.

Skye Foy led Groesbeck with 13, while the Lady Goats also got eight from Samantha Sloan and six from Mandy Adams.

Palestine travels to face No. 9 Mexia Friday. The Lady Blackcats are coming off of a two-point loss to top-ranked Fairfield Tuesday.

Text Only
Local Sports