By Richard Greene
After trailing by six and watching any hopes of remaining in the District 10-2A playoff race slip away, the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets came out of locker room at halftime a desperate team.
The Lady Yellowjackets turned that desperation into defensive intensity, holding the Millsap Lady Bulldogs to one field goal after halftime and rallying for a 40-28 win at Boyd High School gym.
“They knew what was at stake,” said Boyd coach Lynn Cranfill. “They would either play basketball for five more games or play for a purpose and try to get in the playoffs. If we play like we did tonight, we can do it.
“This kept us in contention. We control our destiny. If we win four of our next five, we at least get a play-in.”
Boyd (16-8, 4-5) is two games back of third-place Tolar and tied for fourth with Paradise with five games left.
“We’ve got to win all of them,” said Boyd’s Kallie Tyner. “After Millsap, we can take down the rest of them. We’re a young team, but a strong team.”
Tyner led the defensive effort with five steals to go along with her 10 points and six rebounds.
“Kallie Tyner was amazing tonight,” Crafill said. “She was playing with a deep bone bruise and we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to play.”
Tyner, who had her right elbow covered with an ice pack after the game, said she didn’t know until Friday at 8:30 a.m. if she was going to be able to play.
“It was still iffy before the game,” she said.
The pain didn’t stop Tyner from throwing her body around and forcing turnovers in the second half. Tyner made three of her steals after halftime.
Millsap committed 12 of its 19 turnovers in third and fourth quarters. Many of the turnovers came in the backcourt against Boyd’s press.
“We changed up our defense and some of our presses,” Cranfill said. “It confused them a bit.”
Boyd also concentrated on slowing down Millsap’s Ashleigh Edwards. After scoring 10 in the first half, Edwards hit only a fourth-quarter free throw after halftime.
“If we shut down [Edwards], we knew we had a chance,” Tyner said.
Boyd quickly erased the 22-16 halftime deficit with a 7-0 run to start the third quarter. Millsap’s Lauren Power answered with her team’s lone field goal of the half to put the Lady Bulldogs back in front 24-23.
Shae Williams then drove to the basket for a layup to put Boyd in the lead, 25-24. The Lady Yellowjackets never trailed again. Williams added a jumper to give Boyd a 27-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Williams finished with 11 points.
The Lady Yellowjackets stretched the lead out in the fourth quarter at the free-throw line, hitting 11 of their 12 attempts. Tyner was 6-for-6 in the frame. Landes hit three of four as part of her 10 points.
Landes got Boyd off to a fast start with a short jumper and three-pointer to start the game. Boyd scored the game’s first seven points.
Millsap responded with a 10-2 run to close the first quarter to take a 10-9 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs stretched the advantage to nine, 20-11, midway through the second quarter on Mikelyn Kruger’s lone basket.
Millsap kept the lead at nine before Boyd scored the final three points of the half.