Elida freshman Reavis Best, front, dribbles past Texico senior Brooke Bailey Saturday at the EPAC tournament at Greyhound Stadium.
Last year, Elida got the best of Texico in the EPAC Tournament girls final.
This time, it was Texico’s turn.
The Lady Wolverines led much of the way, but needed an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to turn back the Lady Tigers 43-37 on Saturday night at Greyhound Arena.
Sophomore forward Katlin Luscombe scored 16 points for Texico (14-1), the state’s top-ranked Class 2A team. She had back-to-back buckets with under three minutes left to stretch the Lady Wolverines’ lead to five points.
Sophomore post Shanna Anthony paced the Lady Tigers (12-3) with 10 points. It was the second loss to Texico this season for Elida, which was the defending EPAC champion and seeking its fourth title in seven seasons.
“You have to give Elida a lot of credit,” Texico coach Keith Durham said. “They fought every play to the end. I just know they’re exhausted because they gave everything they had for 32 minutes.”
Texico opened a 30-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Amanda Bass with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, but Elida scored 13 of the game’s next 15 points and pushed in front 34-32 on sophomore Alexis Orcutt’s two free throws with 4:42 left.
The Lady Wolverines then blanked Elida the rest of the way until Nicole Jasso’s 3-pointer as time was running out.
“We had nothing to lose tonight,” Lady Tigers coach Dan Howard said. “We just went out there and played hard.
“We had chances to win that game. We put ourselves in good shape, but they (shots) just didn’t fall for us.”
The Lady Tigers played without junior point guard Lindsey Smith, who was sidelined due to kidney stones.
The teams traded leads throughout the first quarter, but Texico opened a 24-19 halftime lead by holding Elida to Orcutt’s 3-pointers and two free throws by Anthony in the second stanza.
“They were a good team,” Texico senior Brooke Bailey said. “We were both tired, but our girls just gritted their teeth and got through it.”
Both teams played solid defense and had trouble scoring. Luscombe accounted for half of Texico’s 14 field goals in the game.
“Katlin has done well in this tournament,” Bailey said. “I believe we’re going to go far this season. We work hard and get along well, and we don’t panic under pressure.”