Breckenridge’s fourth-quarter rally was too much for the Sweet-water girls basketball team to over-come here Tuesday as the Lady Mustangs were defeated, 44-40, in their home opener of the season.
The Lady Buckaroos finished the game with a 10-3 run, taking their first lead with 1:28 left while taking advantage of Sweetwater’s struggles at the free throw line. The Lady Mustangs made just 4 of 18 for the game, including 2-of-9 in the fourth quarter, and also had 33 turnovers, but still had a chance to win or at least force overtime until the final seconds of the contest.
Alicia Finn, who paced Sweetwater with 15 points, completed a three-point play with 3:55 left to give the Lady Mustangs a 37-34 advantage, but Sweetwater didn’t score again until Breckenridge had gone on an 8-0 run for a 42-37 lead with slightly over a minute to play.Candice Hernandez hit one of two free throws to end the drought, and Kendra Crosson made it 43-40 when she hit a field goal with 18 seconds left. But Breckenridge regained possession, and held the ball until hitting a free throw with less than a second remaining.
One positive for Sweetwater was just being competitive against the Lady Buckaroos, who were a member of Sweetwater’s old 2-3A district the past two years and won last season’s two contests by an average of 23 points, including a 31-point win in Sweetwater.
But Finn was the only Lady Mustang to reach double figures, though Kinsey Browning and Taylor McKoy both had eight points. And coach Jerry McSherry knows his team must do a lot better at avoiding turnovers and making its free throws. “You’re not going to win many ballgames like that,” he said. “But we’ll get it fixed.”
Tuesday’s game was close from start to finish. Sweetwater led 22-21 at halftime, and despite scoring just four points in the third quarter, the game was tied 26-26 entering the fourth and final period.
Crosson scored four points, Her-nandez three and Suede Shirley two for Sweetwater, which plays host to Abilene High this Friday.