The Texico Lady Wolverines will be looking for a fourth consecutive EPAC girls championship tonight.
Standing in their way are the Fort Sumner Vixens (10-1), who will try to avenge a 39-38 loss to Texico in a tournament championship game last month at Dimmitt, Texas.
Texico (11-1) overcame a 14-point, first-half deficit to turn back Melrose 55-40 in Friday’s first semifinal. The Vixens then handed Tatum its first loss of the season, pulling out a seesaw 58-54 win in the nightcap.
Junior Jaylyn Cooper scored 22 points, including a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to put the Lady Wolverines in front for good 40-37, while 6-foot-2 sophomore post Shaylee Anderson scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half.
Trailing 31-22 at halftime, Texico held the Lady Buffs (11-3) to nine second-half points.
Sophomore Cara Barnard put in 17 of her team-high 20 in the opening two segments for Melrose. Her sister, eighth-grader Caley Barnard, added 10 points.
“You’ve got to give Melrose a lot of credit for coming out and getting after us early, but I certainly was disappointed with our intensity,” Texico coach Keith Durham said. “I’m proud we came out and started rebounding and playing better defense in the second half.”
Fort Sumner scored the first nine points of the game against Tatum, but found itself trailing 29-24 early the third quarter before mounting a comeback. Senior Ashley Stinnett’s 3-pointer tied the score 42-42 with 6:45 left, and junior G.A. Tucker followed with short jumper to put the Vixens in front for good.
Four players did all the scoring for the Vixens, led by senior guard Sarah Stinnett with 21 points, junior guard G.A. Tucker with 18 and senior guard Ashley Stinnett with 13.
“The better, more physical team won,” Tatum coach Mike Majors said. “It was our inside game against their outside game. We consider ourselves a pretty quick team, but their speed and quickness made the difference.”
Juniors Devanne Sours with 15 points and Monica Ramirez with 13 dominated on the inside for the Lady Coyotes (10-1).
“Sours and Ramirez exposed us in the paint,” Vixens coach Matt Moyer said. “They’re a good team with good players.
“At times we had to press to keep the game moving, so we were a little tired at the end. But we were able to persevere and finish.”
Dora 67, Clovis Christian 9 — The Lady Coyotes, playing without senior standout Kelli Merrick, still put four players in double figures against the Lady Eagles — junior Jessica Ferraro with 17 points, sophomores Jasi Roberts and Averi Skelley with 12 each and junior Aubrey Butler with 10. Breanna Douma scored six points for CCS (0-8).
Floyd 55, San Jon 26 — The Lady Broncos outscored San Jon 15-2 in the second quarter to open a 16-point lead. Senior Tori Tucker led Floyd (5-8) with 17 points, while senior Lindsey Jennings scored seven for the Lady Coyotes (2-12).