Ladies advance to area playoff

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Megan Huppee drives through a Canyon Lake defender on her way to the basket during the Lady Panthers’ bi-district win Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

Megan Huppee drives through a Canyon Lake defender on her way to the basket during the Lady Panthers’ bi-district win Tuesday night. (Alex Rubio Photo)

By Lauren Jette

AUSTIN — The Lady Panthers defense stifled Canyon Lake Tuesday night 67-22 to advance to the area round of playoffs, where they will face Needville Friday at 7 p.m. at Cedar Creek High School in Bastrop.

While Liberty Hill got the run away win, head coach Chris Lange saw areas that weren’t up to his standard.

“It’s a win. We didn’t play as well as we needed to. We didn’t play very well,” he said.

The Lady Panthers jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game, before the Lady Hawks finally answered with a basket. Victoria Stephens got the basket and drew the foul with 12 seconds left. A free throw increased the Liberty Hill lead to 22-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Canyon Lake opened the second quarter with a three pointer, but Bridgette House answered with a three. She stole the ball on the ensuing Lady Hawk possession and passed to Kandyn Faurie for the open layup to increase the score to 27-7 with six minutes left in the half. Canyon Lake only managed two more baskets in the half.

A three from Autumn Lange with three seconds left gave the Lady Panthers a 35-11 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the defense continued to stifle Canyon Lake, which only put five more points on the board.

Liberty Hill entered the final quarter with a 51-16 lead and continued to build on that for the final eight minutes.

A major area of concern for Lange was free throw shooting. Heading into the fourth quarter, he told his team they were 6-of-22 from the free throw line.

“Free throws are horrible, horrible. I don’t know the reason for it,” he said.

“We just didn’t do a very good job. It’s a mental thing, but we’ve got to do a better job of stepping up to the line and knocking them down. We didn’t do it tonight.”

Also weighing on Lange was knowing that Needville’s coach Keely Cox was in attendance, taking notes for the area game.

“We tried to keep it pretty vanilla. We didn’t want to give away too much. Needville is here tonight,” he said after the game. “We tried to minimize what we showed them, maybe that was a mistake on my part. Maybe I should have just shown them the whole thing and just do what we do and not worry about it. Hopefully we can have a good practice and go from there.”

The Needville Lady Jays were the second playoff team out of district 28 with an 8-2 record. Their two losses came from district champion Brazosport.

The Lady Jays defeated Columbus 64-29 on Monday and have a 22-13 record.

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