One week after falling to their cross-county rival, the No. 9 Alvord Lady Bulldogs (24-11) got their revenge.
In a one-game playoff to decide second place in District 9-2A Friday at Decatur, Alvord pulled away from the Paradise Lady Panthers (23-9) for a 66-47 victory.
“We wanted it really bad,” Alvord senior Sam Hahn said. “We practiced for this game like any other, but we wanted this one.”
The win clinches second place in the district, while Paradise falls to third. Each team was to start the bi-district round of the state playoffs Tuesday night.
This was the third straight year that Alvord has been involved in a district playoff.
It was a game that showed a lot of similarities to the first time the two teams met back in early January.
The Lady Panthers got off to a great start, leading 7-2 with just over a minute gone by in the game. Alvord came storming back.
Carley King gave the Lady Bulldogs a 12-9 lead with 3:31 left in the opening frame. They would never trail again.
King hit three 3-pointers in the first to help Alvord open up a 22-12 advantage heading into the second quarter.
“We settled down on offense, and shots went in and last Friday they didn’t,” Alvord coach Rob Schmucker said. “I’m really proud of our defense. We played a lot smarter on defense.”
Alvord’s offense stayed red hot in the second. They scored at will against the Paradise defense, opening up a 43-26 lead at the half. On the defensive end of the court Alvord was just as tough, taking way Paradise’s inside game.
“We were fully expecting the zone, and we never got a good look inside,” Paradise coach Eddie Fortenberry said. “We just dribbled down and took a bad shot.
“[Defensively] we gave up too many easy baskets, and when we didn’t do that we let them parade to the free-throw line.”
Paradise came out fighting in the third, getting within 12 in the first two minutes of the half.
Alvord wouldn’t allow them to get any closer, responding with an 11-0 run.
“I was proud that we kept fighting and battling,” Fortenberry said. “We are not the old Paradise.”
The Lady Bulldogs would lead by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter as they cruised to the 19-point victory.
Marissa Schedcik led the way for Alvord with 15. King finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Hahn also added 14. Ariel Rogers tossed in 13.
Paradise was led by Makala Neighbors with 17, and Makenna Burt had 13. Courtney Kerr and Kaylee McConnell each scored six.