A supposedly-rebuilding Sweetwater girls basketball team got District 4-3A play off to a great start here on Tuesday, upsetting 16th-ranked Big Spring 44-40 at Mustang Gym.
Sweetwater (6-8) trailed 10-9 after the opening quar-ter against the Lady Steers, but led by three (23-20) at halftime and was in control most of the way from then on, trailing only once in the final two periods.
The Lady Mustangs, who were also playing their first game of 2014, enjoyed two seven-point leads and wea-thered three Big Spring ral-lies in the second half.
After Big Spring used a 10-2 run in the third quarter to go up 30-29, Sweetwater scored the final seven points of the period to regain a 36-30 advantage. It would be the last time Big Spring led, but the Lady Steers tied it 36-36 with 5:47 to play.
Sweetwater answered by scoring six straight to open up a 42-36 lead at the 3:41 mark, but Big Spring cut it to two (42-40) with 1:43 to play. The Lady Steers didn’t score again, however, and a basket by Taylor McPherson provided the final winning margin for Sweetwater.
“We made plays when we had to,” coach Al Miller said afterward.
“We squandered the lead but got it back. We calmed down and got the ball down the floor, and made plays. We rebounded well the sec-ond half and hustled better. At (the) Anson (tournament), we played just good enough to lose, but tonight we played well enough to win. We handled their press pretty good. I’m proud as heck of them.”
Shaneese Brown had 11 of her team-high 13 points in the opening half, while Cierra Knox and McPherson each tossed in 12 points. Kayla Chowning had five and Maddie Jones two for Sweetwater, which has now won two straight following a four-game losing skid.
The team will now travel to Midland Greenwood on Tuesday. Greenwood is only 5-11 overall, but the Ranger-ettes are 1-0 in district after crushing Monahans 54-32 in their 4-3A opener. Wylie is also 1-0 in district after defeating Snyder, 60-33.