Abby Harrell pushed the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets in front by a point with a second-chance opportunity early in the third quarter Tuesday night.
It was their only second-half lead, and they didn’t enjoy it for long.
On the next trip down the floor, Alvord’s Katie Claborn dialed in a long-distance response to put the Lady Bulldogs back in front and spark an 11-2 run that paved the way for a 54-41 victory at Boyd High School gym.
“As a shooter, you know you have to hit open shots when they are open,” said Claborn, who hit four 3-pointers as part of a 15-point night. “We hit the shots when we needed to.”
Claborn was one of three Lady Bulldogs in double figures. Marissa Schedcik led Alvord with 18 points. Lauren Hart added 12.
Alvord (16-8) moved to 6-2 in District 9-2A with the victory and kept pace with Paradise for second-place in the league. The Lady Bulldogs took a three-game lead on fourth-place Boyd (14-7, 4-5).
“That was a big win,” said Alvord coach Rob Schmucker. “It gave us a cushion on the fourth spot. But I asked them after the game, if they were satisfied or do they want to keep moving up.”
Boyd maintained control on the fourth and final playoff spot and could seize a firm grasp on it with a win Friday over Peaster.
“Friday is the big game that we need to win,” said Boyd coach Lynn Cranfill. “If we win that one, we’ll be happy and go to McDonald’s to get Happy Meals.”
Through the first two quarters, Boyd point guard Amber Montgomery tried to make sure she left her home court for the final time wearing a smile, attacking the lane and getting to the basket. Scoring 11 of her 16 points in the first half, she kept Boyd within striking distance down three, 26-23, at halftime.
Schedcik kept Alvord in front with 11 of her own in the first half, including a four-point play in the final minute of the first quarter that broke a tie at 10.
Boyd opened the third quarter with a 6-2 run on a couple of baskets inside from Kenzie Elkins and one from Harrell to take a 29-28 lead.
That was before Claborn stepped around a screen at the top of the key and buried her third 3-pointer of the night.
“It’s a set play they run 100 times. We got caught up by the pick and she hit the shot,” Cranfill said.
Claborn went 4-for-8 from behind the arc. As a team, the Lady Bulldogs hit six of their 13 3-point attempts.
“Every time we needed a big shot, someone came up and hit a big shot from the outside,” Schmucker said.
After Claborn’s go-ahead 3-pointer, Schedcik and Hart began penetrating the lane to get baskets inside and stretch the Alvord lead. Schedcik’s driving layup put the Lady Bulldogs up 39-31 with 1:40 left in the third.
“After we got the lead, we fed off each other,” Claborn said. “We play like that, usually.”
Defensively, the Lady Bulldogs put the clamps on Montgomery, holding her without a shot in the third quarter. She scored five in the fourth.
“They were more focused on me than everyone else,” Montgomery said. “We did pretty good and made a lot of plays. They just made more of them.
“All I’m worried about is making the playoffs.”
Alvord carried a 40-34 lead into the fourth quarter. Claborn’s final 3-pointer of the night stretched the advantage to 11, 45-34, with 7:10 remaining. Alvord led by as many as 16, 53-37, in the final frame.
Harrell finished with 11 points, and Elkins 10 for the Lady Yellowjackets. Lindsey Thorpe added two points and 10 rebounds.
Brianna Ponder led the Lady Bulldogs in rebounding with nine, including five on the offensive end. Hart added seven boards.