SPORTS HEADLINES

Sissies shoot down Decatur, advance to regional tournament

By Reece Waddell | Published Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
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Emily Vidal admits she doesn’t show much emotion during games.

“They say I never smile when I play because I just try to stay focused,” Vidal said.

Tuesday night in Azle, Vidal finally cracked a smile.

Bridgeport’s junior guard shot 62.5 percent from beyond the arc, burying four second-half 3-pointers. Her final trey proved to be the dagger, as the Sissies shot down Decatur 50-28 in the 4A Region I quarterfinal.

“I think [the basket] looked like an ocean tonight to her, and I’m glad it did,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “They weren’t forced or stagnant threes, and it kept her in rhythm. I think every good player like that wants to [take the game over] and does. Tonight was her time.”

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

With the win, Bridgeport improved to 26-10 and advanced to the 4A Region I tournament for the first time since 2009. The Sissies will play Class 4A No. 2 Levelland in the 4A Region I semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday at the Rip Griffin Center on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.

“It’s the first time in 10 years for the Bridgeport Sissies to go to the [regional tournament],” Vidal said. “It feels amazing.”

Bridgeport outscored the Lady Eagles 15-4 in the third quarter, as Vidal’s touch from the perimeter started to give the Sissies separation. Decatur only trailed by six, 20-14, at halftime.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

Vidal and Jade Hall combined to shoot 8-of-13 from the outside, with six of their 3-pointers coming in the second half. Vidal led all scorers with 17 points, while Hall poured in 15.

“They were great. They shot unbelievable,” said Decatur coach Lindsay Griffin. “I don’t know how many threes they made in the second half, but it was too many.”

Decatur trailed 10-5 after one quarter, struggling to find a groove offensively.

The Lady Eagles’ offensive woes continued in the second quarter, as Decatur shot just 28.6 percent in the first half. For the game, the Lady Eagles were 8-of-36 from the field.

“Every team goes through shooting nights where it’s not going in, and we shot 24 percent tonight,” Griffin said. “Unfortunately, it happened in a big game like this. We just couldn’t get anything to go down.”

Vidal put the finishing touches on her dazzling shooting performance with back-to-back 26-foot 3-pointers that put Bridgeport up 43-23 with under fine minutes left.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

“I just felt it all night and shot the ball,” Vidal said. “Hand down, man down.”

Decatur ends its season at 27-9. It was the first time the Lady Eagles advanced to the third round since 2014.

Since losing to Bridgeport in their final regular season meeting, the two schools appeared to be on a collision course to meet in the playoffs. Griffin said her team was ready coming into Tuesday’s game after splitting the regular season series.

“I think the girls felt confident going into the game because they know so much about Bridgeport,” Griffin said. “They just shot great and we didn’t. That was the big difference.

“For me as a head coach, this is the most fun season I’ve had. They have no idea how much I love them.”

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