Abernathy’s D and 3s defeat Gruver in area playoff matchup

Abernathy hit nine of their 10 3-pointers in the first three quarters during Thursday’s Class 2A area round playoff game against Gruver at Canyon High School, but it was its suffocating defense allowed it to pull away in the fourth quarter to a 55-41 win.

Holding a 35-33 lead entering the final frame, Abernathy kept the Lady Hounds scoreless for nearly six minutes while going on an 11-0 run spurred by six points from senior Bailey Houston.

“The kids stepped up the defense in the fourth,” Abernathy coach Justin Barton said. “We did everything we’ve been working on since day one and it seemed like it just all went together in the fourth quarter.”

Gruver ended its scoreless streak on Carlee Johnson’s 3-pointer with just more than two minutes to play, but by then it was too late for a comeback.

“Defensively, they do an extremely good job,” Gruver coach Shannon Fisher said. “We didn’t get very good looks on the outside. I’m not sure if we got more than four or five 3-pointers off tonight total. My hat is off to them for doing a great job.”

Abernathy (27-5) trailed 14-11 entering the second, then caught fire from behind the arc.

Lubbock Christian signee Madelyn Turner made three of the team’s five 3-pointers and scored 10 of her game-high 20 points during the frame as the Lady Lopes took a 27-20 halftime lead.

Another Turner 3-pointer and Wrye Akers’ trey pushed Abernathy’s lead to 34-26 midway through the third with 27 of those points coming behind the three-point line.

“Some nights we’re on, some nights we’re off and this was definitely one of those nights we were on,” Turner said. “I think we took advantage of that and made it count in the end.”

The Lady Lopes hit nine free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Kalli Dubose sank three 3-pointers and scored 14 points to join Turner in double figures for Abernathy.

Klaire King tallied 12 points to lead Gruver (23-10).

“Gruver stopped us the same spot two years ago,” Turner said. “We’re so excited to be moving on and continuing playing.”

 

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