BERNALILLO — Fort Sumner’s girls simply had too much depth for Jal Tuesday night.
The top-seeded Vixens opened a lead in the final t wo minutes of the half, then buried the Lady Panthers with a dominating 18-3 performance in the third quarter en route to a 60-39 quarterfinal victory in the Class 1A girls state basketball tournament.
Jal led for a good part of the first half, but the Vixens were able to take control late in the second period behind senior guard Sarah Stinnett.
Leading just 25-24, Stinnett scored seven points, then dished off for a layup to junior G.A. Tucker as Fort Sumner (25-3) carried a 34-26 lead into halftime.
Junior Ashley Stinnett then drilled back-to-bakc 3-pointers in a 15-second span of the third quarter, turning a seven-point lead into a 40-27 cushion.
Jal (20-7) could never recover.
“It was a long road to Albuquerque for two weeks in row,” Lady Panthers coach Brad Fouts said. “But no excuses, they just wore us out.”
The Vixens, seeking their first 1A title since 2005, take on fifth-seeded Cliff in a 6:30 p.m. semifinal Thursday at Bernalillo. The Cowgirls upended Melrose 51-44 on Tuesday night.
“It took us a while to get going,” Fort Sumner coach Matt Moyer said. “I think teams come up here and they all have first-game jitters.
“We just need to relax and play. Once we got going and got running, they got tired and we pulled away.”
Sarah Stinnett finished with 25 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and eight rebounds for the Vixens. Five others contributed between six and eight points.
Senior guard Erin Deck led the Lady Panthers with 15 points.