SAN ANTONIO – The Grapeland Sandiettes state title run came to an end Friday in San Antonio, 59-49, to the Gruver Lady Hounds.
An early 8:30 a.m. tipoff had two of the top 2A teams in the state pinned against each other on the floor of the Alamodome.
Both teams played at a high level from the start, but Gruver (37-2) opened a 7-point lead at the half on its way to their win in the Class 2A state semifinals.
Both sides sat tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter. The Sandiettes shot an efficient 50 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind with the arc with help from Jessie Payne and Jamiyah Bowie.
After Gruver put up the first points of the contest, Grapeland responded with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes.
Gruver fought back to even the game up heading into the second quarter.
After both teams shot 50 percent from the field in the first, the shooting splits truly began to make its mark in the second.
The Sandiettes shot a troublesome 30 percent, while Gruver rose their percentage to 64 percent. There were six lead changes and four ties to open the game, but a 9-0 run starting at the 3:45 mark of the second quarter gave the Lady Hounds some space.
The Lady Hounds dominated the points in the points (10-4) and capitalized of off a couple Grapeland mistakes with six points off turnovers.
It helped them hold a 31-24 advantage at the break.
The Sandiettes struggled to find their shot in the second half. After hitting two of their first three shots, they missed their next nine attempts until a Kenya Woods layup broke the streak at the 2:41 mark.
By then, they trailed 41-31as Gruver was shooting at a 67 percent clip in the quarter. They were able to extend their lead by as much as 13 before four straight points from Teira Jones left their deficit at nine entering the final quarter.
Gruver didn't allow that to shift momentum as they opened the fourth boasting a 13-4 run. They hit seven of their first eight shots to grow their lead to 59-37 – the largest lead of the game.
Urgency immediately increased for the Sandiettes, but the clock remained their enemy. Over the last 3:43, Grapeland ran off a 12-0 run to end the game. However, the whole was far too deep to mount a comeback.
Kenya Woods finished with a team-high 15 points. Jessie Payne had 12, while Keaundra Harris added 10. Gruver will play the Muenster Lady Hornets for a shot at their first state title today.