Halftime adjustments led Slidell to a 13-3 third-quarter edge and a come-from-behind 42-32 win over Ector in the Class A Division II Region III quarterfinal Tuesday at Howe.
The Lady Greyhounds carried a 20-12 record into their third straight Region III tournament appearance Friday at Tyler.
Katy Stephens scored the first eight of Slidell’s points after halftime, and Ector didn’t score in the third period until the final 14 seconds.
“We ended the second quarter pretty badly,” said Stephens, referring to the way Ector overcame a five-point Slidell lead to go up by three, 24-21, at the half.
“When we went in at halftime, Coach [Cody] Vanover told us we had to block out and play smart. My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball. I felt confident, so I took some shots.”
Stephens, who finished with 11 points and three three-pointers, hit a pair of treys and went 2-for-2 on free throws in the third period, putting Slidell ahead 29-24 with 2:09 left in the stanza.
During the second half’s first 5:51, Slidell’s defense held Ector to 0-for-6 shooting from the field, forced three turnovers and outrebounded the Lady Eagles 6-3.
Ector held a 22-15 rebounding lead at halftime and finished the game with a 32-29 edge.
“Katy and Ashton [Stroope, whose three-pointer made it 32-24 with 1:16 left in the third] shot real well,” Vanover said.
“We didn’t make a huge adjustment at halftime. Mostly, defensively we were coming up too late and too slow. We blocked out better in the second half, and that kept us from giving up second-chance points.”
Brooke Rhodes, the leading scorer in Wise County girls’ basketball this season, topped Slidell in scoring with 19 points, 11 of those points coming in the first half. She also had 10 rebounds.
Kristan Huey scored 16 points to lead Ector, which finished its season at 19-11.
Rhodes scored all of Slidell’s points as the Lady Hounds outscored Ector 8-2 in the first 4:10 of the fourth period, taking a 13-point, 42-29, lead with 3:50 to go. She scored on a drive to the hoop, a 15-foot jumper, a three-pointer and 1-of-2 free-throw shooting.
For the game, she was 8-for-13 from the floor, including 2-for-4 from 3-point land. Stroope finished with six points on a pair of three-pointers as the Slidell girls went 7-for-14 on 3-balls.
A pair of end-to-end, one-woman fast breaks by Rhodes and a Caitlin Pruett putback gave Slidell an 18-13 lead with 5:12 remaining in the first half.
Bailey Whitehead contributed two buckets to a 7-0 Ector run that put the Lady Eagles up 20-18 with 1:38 remaining in the quarter.
Stephens nailed her first three-pointer for a 21-20 Slidell lead that was short-lived when Huey answered with a long-ranger of her own. Whitehead made it 24-21, Ector, at the half when she hit 1-of-2 free throws with time expired in the second quarter.