ABILENE — For a half, the Sweetwater girls were competitive against No. 18-ranked Wylie on Friday on the Lady Bulldogs’ home floor, trailing by just seven (26-19) as they went to the dressing room.
At that point, the Lady Mustangs’ dream of pulling into a first-place tie with Wylie — which actually led by just four points, 23-19, until hitting a 3-pointer just before halftime — in District 4-3A seemed possible.
But that dream quickly crumbled in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the third quarter, as Wylie went on a 17-1 run to seize control before Sweetwater got its first field goal of the half.
Wylie (5-0, 18-7) enjoyed a 50-26 lead after three periods, and had a 16-2 run over the final eight minutes to complete a 66-28 win.
Sweetwater (3-2, 17-11) now finds itself trailing not only Wylie but also Midland Greenwood (4-1), which is alone in second following a 49-32 win over Big Spring on Friday.
Against Wylie, the Lady Mustangs cut a 13-6 deficit late in the first quarter to a single point, 14-13, in the second quarter on consecutive 3-pointers by Suede Shirley and Kelsi Crosson, and made another mini-run in the final minute of the half before disaster hit.
“We had six straight possessions with turnovers and they scored 13 points right off the bat, and we look up and we’re down 20,” coach Al Miller said in describing the start of the third period. “We got a little lackadaisical even though we knew it would be an uphill battle.
“They made that 3 to end the half, then the first 3-4 minutes of the third quarter did us in.”
Sweetwater now has a key home game with Big Spring (2-3) on Tuesday and heads to Greenwood this Friday.
The Lady Mustangs were led by Shirley and Kelsi Crosson’s eight points in Friday’s game.
Also scoring were Hayley Brownlow with five, Kendra Crosson with four, Janell Walker with two and Kayla Chowning with one.
“The girls knew it would be a tough one tonight,” said Miller, whose team has five games left until the season ends. “We’ve just got to put this one behind us.”