MONAHANS — The Sweetwater girls basketball team did what it had to do Tuesday in order to keep its playoff hopes alive this season as it went to Monahans and won, 54-43, to snap a three-game losing streak.
The win for Sweetwater (18-13, 4-4 district) came in its final road game of the year and, coupled with Big Spring’s 60-24 loss to first-place Wylie on Tuesday, moved Sweetwater into a third-place tie in District 4-3A with the Lady Steers.
Both Sweetwater and Big Spring have two games left in their battle for the No. 3 playoff spot. Sweetwater plays its last two games at home, as the Lady Mustangs host Snyder (1-7) on Friday and then entertain Wylie (8-0) on Feb. 5 in their final regular season game.
After making the drive of 170 miles to Monahans, it took visiting Sweetwater a long time to actually seize control of Tuesday’s game over the Lady Loboes, who are winless in 4-3A action.
Monahans led 24-20 in the third quarter before the Lady Mustangs went on a decisive 15-0 run to give Sweetwater a 35-24 lead. Monahans narrowed the lead back to six (35-29), but Sweetwater followed up with a 12-2 run that basic-ally put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
Suede Shirley scored 15 points, connecting on five 3-pointers, to lead the win. Also making big scoring contributions were Kelsi Crosson, who scored all but one of her 14 points for Sweetwater in the final two quarters, and Kendra Cros-son, who had nine of her 13 in the second half. Mona-hans, paced by 12 points from Tyniqua Phillips, led 19-17 at halftime and 24-20 early in the third quarter until Sweetwater finally be-gan to assert itself in the second half.
Also scoring for the Lady Mustangs against Monahans were Elise Lawrence with five, Shelby Cason, Taylor McPherson and Shaneese Brown with two and Hayley Brownlow with one.
Sweetwater and Big Spring have split their two meetings with each other, Sweetwater pulling out a 35-33 win at Big Spring but losing to the Lady Steers 41-40 at home. Big Spring plays its last two games on the road, going to Monahans this Friday and visiting Greenwood (7-1) on Feb. 5 in its final game.
BOYS: Monahans 62, Sweetwater 43
Monahans (4-2) won for the first time in three games but had trouble putting the game away until the final period against Sweetwater.
The Loboes improved to 21-5 overall with Tuesday’s win over the Mustangs, who fell to 1-5 in district play.
Monahans led just 28-24 in the second quarter before catching fire, ending the period with an 11-0 run to finish the half up 39-24.
Sweetwater was still within 12 points, 49-37, early in the fourth until Monahans ended on a 13-6 run that allowed the Loboes to tight-en their hold on third place in the district.
Kaleb Hoover scored 18 points to pace Sweetwater, but no other player reached double figures for the Mustangs. Dylan Bennett finished with eight points and Michael Hunt and Isaiah McGee six. Hunt and McGee reached their totals by hitting two 3s, and Cole Maxwell also hit a 3-point-er while Rhett Torres had two points. McGee’s first 3-pointer to begin the game gave Sweetwater its only lead before Monahans ran off nine straight points.
Three players hit double figures for Monahans as Junior Morales finished with 20 points to lead the way while Andres Facio scored 18 points and Kahlil Cooper pitched in 15.