Burk’s rally topples SW

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

GUTHRIE — Sweetwater held a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and led by two, 25-23, at halftime of its girls bi-district basketball playoff game Monday against Burkburnett.
In the third period, treys by junior Amber Knox and sophomore Elli Lehnert got the lead to six, 31-25.
But then it all changed for Sweetwater, which was outscored by Burkburnett 15-1 over a seven-minute stretch before Jessica Poe ended the Lady Mustangs’ lengthy field goal drought with 6:28 left, cutting Burkburnett’s lead to six points, 40-34.
The Lady Bulldogs, however, were ahead to stay as they ended Sweetwater’s year with a 56-47 win.
Sweetwater, which made the playofs as the No. 4 seed out of District 5-4A, ends its season with a 9-22 record while Burkburnett (17-11), the No. 1 seed from 6-4A, advanced to the next round.
“It’s something we talk about every game,” Sweetwater head coach Devin Griffin said. “We have one bad quarter every game.
“We’ve got to be able to answer. Basketball is a game of runs. We’ve got to be able to make a run of our own after they make one.
“But we’ve grown tremendously,” Griffin continued. “I feel like we have gotten a lot better and now that (the team) has learned my system we’ll only get better next year.”
It was looking good for Sweetwater when, after a total of six lead changes, the Lady Mustangs enjoyed a two-point (25-23) lead at the end of the first half. Shavie Green scored eight of her 12 points during an 8-0 run that regained the lead for Sweetwater, but the junior post had just one field goal in the second half.
Tavis Black, who is also a junior, paced Sweetwater with 13 points while junior point guard Amber Knox and forward Poe — who is the Lady Mustangs’ lone senior — had eight. Lehnert, the other starter and just a sophomore, had six points to complete the team’s scoring.
Eternity Jackson had 21 points and Carolyn Thomas 19 for Burkburnett, which will play Stephenville in the next round of the playoffs.
Sweetwater will still have Big Spring and Snyder in its revamped District 5-4A for the next two years, but will say goodbye to Wylie and Brownwood, the top two teams this season. Replacing them will be San Angelo Lake View and Midland Greenwood.

Photo caption: Elli Lehnert of Sweetwater is guarded by Eternity Jackson (25) of Burkburnett in the teams' bi-district playoff game held on Monday in Guthrie.
Photo by Betsy Howe