Levelland eliminates Sissies in region semifinal

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, February 23, 2019.
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For most of Friday night’s 4A Region I semifinal, the Bridgeport Sissies could not buy a basket.

Bridgeport shot just 17 percent in the first half, quickly falling into a hole. By halftime, the deficit had swelled to double digits, but Sissies’ coach Dallas Taylor was confident the tide would turn in the final two quarters.

It never did.

Levelland outscored Bridgeport 27-10 in the third period, running away with a 68-48 victory at Lubbock Christian University to end the Sissies’ season.

“I thought we were going to come out [in the second half] and the ‘We’re in Lubbock’ jitters would be behind us and we would really get after it,” Taylor said. “Look at the third quarter, that’s a big turning point. I think just shot efficiency and the ability to put the ball in the hole we struggled with. That’s just how the night was.”

Bridgeport’s Emily Vidal (4) stops to shoot a jump shot against Levelland’s Kiahra Graves (23) during the 4A Region 1 semifinal game Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 at Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas. [Abbie Burnett/A-J Media]

Bridgeport never led in the game.

Makayla Escue proved to be the difference for the Loboettes, tallying a game-high 23 points. The 6-2 post shot 53.9 percent, pulled down four rebounds and blocked two shots.

Escue forced the Sissies to burn a quick timeout in the third quarter, finishing a contested layup off the glass to put Levelland up 32-18.

“She moves well without the basketball,” Taylor said of Escue. “She knocked down some shots tonight and did a very good job. We just missed our defensive assignments.”

Levelland’s Brytnee Bordayo (14) and Bridgeport’s Delaney Ingram (40) fight for control of the ball under the basket with Levelland’s MaKayla Escue (32) during the 4A Region 1 semifinal game Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 at Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, Texas. [Abbie Burnett/A-J Media]

Bridgeport shot 17-of-57 for the game, struggling to find a rhythm offensively.

Junior guard Emily Vidal and senior post Delaney Ingram led the Sissies with nine points each. Ingram also grabbed nine rebounds, finishing one point and one rebound shy of a double-double. Jade Hall and Raegan Hankins added seven points apiece.

Bridgeport shot just 21.4 percent from beyond the arc.

“Wrong place, wrong time,” Taylor said. “I think shots were rushed. We struggled a little bit with executing the gameplan. It took us a while to get in a rhythm, and as that was happening they were knocking down shots.”

The Sissies end their season at 26-11. It was the first time Bridgeport had advanced to the regional tournament since 2009.

After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the last two years and dealing with several injuries, Taylor said she was proud of her team’s resiliency.

“I’m thankful to the Lord up above for each kid that we have and their commitment to Sissie basketball. I can’t be prouder of them or to be their coach,” Taylor said. “For my seniors, there is nothing that brings a coach more happiness than seeing them be successful. And they have done it. They have stayed the course. They are going to be phenomenal adults because of what they’ve gone through in basketball.”

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