The Sweetwater girls bas-ketball team stayed close, but couldn’t quite get over the hump in a 43-42 loss to Wichita Falls Hirschi here on Tuesday.
The Lady Mustangs (1-2) led only once in the second half, but pulled within a point twice in the final minute — first on a 3-pointer by Hayley Brownlow that made it 41-40 with 33.8 seconds left, and then on a putback by Cierra Knox with 8.2 remaining after Hirschi had made two free throws at the other end.
Hirschi called timeout with 5.7 seconds left, and was able to break Sweetwater’s fullc0urt press and hang on for the one-point win.
Sweetwater jumped out to an 8-2 lead, but trailed 11-10 by the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Mustangs took the lead back, 12-11, on a steal and layup by Shaneese Brown in the first minute of the second quarter, then held only one more lead the rest of the game.
But Hirschi, after increa-sing its lead to 24-16 later in the period, was unable to put Sweetwater away as the Lady Mustangs slowly came back. The Lady Huskies’ lead was down to three, 27-24, at halftime and they led by three, 31-28, after three periods.
Knox scored with 5:29 left to regain a 35-34 lead, but it was over three minutes before Sweetwater scored again and Hirschi went back ahead to stay. Brown ended the drought for Sweetwater when she scored at the 2:02 mark to cut the lead to two, 39-37. Sweetwater began to send Hirschi to the line, but eight straight missed free throws kept it close and allowed Sweetwater to make a final run even though two players — Brown and Kayla Chowning — fouled out in the last two minutes.
“There were a lot of missed opportunities for us,” said coach Al Miller, who pointed to 24 turn-overs by his team.
“But we got in there and scrapped with them, and I like that.”
Taylor McPherson scored 11 points for Sweetwater, which is off until next Tues-day when it goes to Early, while Knox had 10 points, Brown nine, Brownlow seven, Bianca Castillo four and Maddie Jones one.
The Lady Mustangs hit 11 of 17 free throws to Hirschi’s 9 of 23, but were whistled for 21 fouls while Hirschi had just 15.
The Roscoe and Highland girls also played Tuesday. Results from their games will be in Thursday’s paper. All four Nolan County boys varsity basketball teams have yet to play with foot-ball season ending for three of them (except Blackwell) last week. The Highland boys start play Friday, while the other three will tip off their seasons next Tuesday.