Longview turned in a strong finish and as a result the season isn’t over for the Lady Lobos.
Needing a win to extend its season, Longview out-scored Mesquite 18-5 in the fourth quarter to grab a 55-45 win over the Lady Skeeters on Tuesday night at Lobo Coliseum.
With the win, paired with Rockwall-Heath’s win over North Mesquite elsewhere on Tuesday, the Lady Lobos and Lady Hawks finish the District 11-6A race at 5-7.
The play-in game for the fourth spot out of the district is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Athens.
“We live to fight another day,” Lady Lobo head coach Clay Busby said. “Mesquite has played some tight games all season and just came up short so we knew we would have our hands full.
“But all nine girls stepped up at some point tonight and we needed every single contribution. We’re still alive after the regular season and that was a goal.”
A couple of runs in the first half led to a 25-all tie at halftime and set up a back-and-forth third quarter that featured seven of the 10 lead changes on the night.
Both ends of the floor clicked to start the fourth quarter for the Lady Lobos, who forced 10 Mesquite turnovers — six off steals — in a dominant 10-0 run to go up 47-40. The Lady Lobos (14-17) then finished 8-of-10 from the free-throw line to sure up the season-extending win.
“I told them that this was going to come down to us and what we could do,” Busby said. “We had to score. We had to make layups and free throws. We did both of those things and our defense stepped up.”
It was an all-hands-on-deck night for the Lady Lobos, who honored seniors Jordan McLain, Kei’Azia Brice, Jaiyah Carter, Deja Bonner and Meshia Shead before the game.
McLain led the way with 15 points and, more importantly, eight steals and a handful of deflections. The senior Houston softball signee had four steals apiece in the second and fourth quarters.
Miah Colbert chipped in 11 points and five rebounds. Cree McLemore finished with eight points, including two big 3-pointers in the second half.
Shead added nine rebounds and assists while Bonner finished with six points, five rebounds and two steals.
Mesquite senior Lakeyeia Banks led all scores with 19 points and added six rebounds. Kaiya Frealon followed with nine points and five assists for the Lady Skeeters, who conclude its season at 15-19 and 1-11 in 11-6A action.
Jene Samuels hit one of three-straight 3-pointer to put Mesquite up 14-9 after the first quarter. Her third triple gave Mesquite its largest lead early in the second quarter. McLain had one of her four buckets off steals as Longview grabbed a 4-point lead before the Lady Skeeters tied things up at halftime from the free-throw line.
Banks erased a four-point Longview lead in the third quarter with back-to-back threes and a putback gave the Lady Skeeters a 40-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
McLain then sparked the defense with three quick steals and Colbert had seven points in Longview’s 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter. McLain added another steal and the Lady Lobos closed strong at the line to extend its season past the regular season.
Longview and Rockwall-Heath, who met in a play-in game in the 2017-18 season, split their regular-season meetings in 2019.
Heath took a 49-31 win at Lobo Coliseum in January and the Lady Lobos grabbed a 38-36 overtime win in the second meeting.