GRADY â€” Itâ€™s probably not the way they prefer to do it, but the Highland girls basketball team has discovered a winning formula in the playoffs.
The Lady Hornets, for the second time in as many postseason games, found themselves trailing with one quarter to play Friday against Wink. But just as it had done three nights earlier against Robert Lee, Highland staged a furious fourth-quarter rally to pull out a 47-41 victory.
Highland (21-11) â€” which made it to the playoffs as the District 11-A, Division II runnerup â€” trailed 34-32 after three periods, but outscored Wink 15-7 in the final eight minutes. Wink, which was the District 10-A, Division II champion and led by as much as five points in the fourth quarter, ends its season at 22-4.
Once again, freshman post Sierra Allen played a key role in the final outcome as the Lady Hornets advanced to face Bronte in the regional quarterfinals. The time, date and location was not known at press time Saturday.
Allen â€” who had a team-high 11 points in Tuesdayâ€™s 36-31 bi-district win over Robert Lee â€” again led the Highland on Friday with 15 points. Her total including a rare 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that helped jump start the Lady Hornetsâ€™ late rally by cutting Winkâ€™s lead to two points.
Highland also got key contributions from its top two scorers this season as 6-2 senior Callie Sandusky had 14 points and 5-2 junior guard Kara Hughey had nine, including four late free throws to help secure the win.
Also scoring for Highland were freshman Beth Richburg and senior Shyan Womack with four points apiece and sophomore Lora Stewart with one point.
Highland jumped out to an 8-0 lead on Friday and led 14-8 after one per-iod, but Wink tied the game 23-23 at halftime and was ahead for much of the second half until Highland put together its finishing run.
The Lady Hornets need one more win to reach the Region II-A, Division II tournament, which begins this Friday and will be at Abilene Christian Universityâ€™s Moody Coliseum.