The Sudan girls basketball team kept hammering the ball inside and sank timely 3-pointers in the Nettes’ Class 2A bi-district game against New Deal.
The result: Sudan’s 5-foot-8 senior Hannah Miller set the tone with back-to-back buckets and teammate Brianna Wallace sank a deflating 3 in the opening seven minutes while the Lady Lions went scoreless, giving the Nettes an early advantage in their 47-29 win Tuesday at the Rip Griffin Center.
“We are an inside team, and we were still hammering it, but when we hit a couple of those 3s I think it kind of lit us up,” said Sudan coach Benny Lockhart, whose team improved to 21-4.
“It’s always good to get the first one out of the way. The kids had some jitters, but I have a lot of kids that have been in a lot of playoff games. My senior group is a regional tournament team, so they have played a lot of games.”
Miller, Keagen Eewards, Lexi Bartley and Delanie Black make up the Nettes’ senior class. Miller led the team with a game-high 20 points, and Black hit four 3s and finished with 12 points
“It feels good. It’s my senior year and I have been playing with most of these girls for four years,” Miller said. “So It feels pretty good.”
After a scoreless opening two minutes, Miller scored twice inside the paint to give the Nettes a 4-0 lead.
Paired with a 3-point shot from Sudan 5-foot-6 junior Brianna Wallace at the 1:21 mark in the first quarter, the Nettes strung together a 7-0 run to start the game. New Deal senior forward Madalyn Trocchio ended the run with a jump shot, but Wallace responded with one of her own with 34 seconds left and give her team a 9-2 lead at the end of the first.
New Deal (19-12) improved and put up eight points in the second quarter, but Sudan took a 22-10 lead into halftime thanks to some fast-paced play.
“We are a fast-paced team,” Miller said. “So we are used to it.”
The Lady Lions did show some resilience in the second quarter, ending the quarter on an 8-2 run. After falling behind 20-2 with 4:26 left in the second, New Deal rallied with baskets from Charlie Whitfield, Autumne Vasquez, Hailey Conatser and Britten Hull while the Nettes’ answered only with a Wallace bucket.
Sudan got going again, however, in the third quarter, scoring 16 points to take a 38-19 lead heading into the fourth.
The Lady Lions couldn’t rally from the deficit and ended their season, while the Nettes move on to the area round. Sudan will face No. 3 Panhandle, a 57-25 winner over Sanford-Fritch, at a time and site to be determined.
Miller credits time in the gym to her team’s success.
“(We put in) lots of practice and time after practice,” Miller said. “Our coach keeps us pretty pumped up and keeps the intensity up. It helps when the bench is yelling and stuff.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Sudan’s Hannah Miller scored timely buckets and led the Nettes with 20 points in the victory
The Nettes win over New Deal is a rematch of last season’s bi-district game, which they won 56-55.
Sudan faces Panhandle at 6 p.m. Thursday at Hereford in a Region I Class 2A area playoff game.
SUDAN 47, NEW DEAL 29
Individual scorers: New Deal, Britten Hull 9, Marcella Vasquez 6, Gabriella Mendez 4, Autoumne Vasquez 4, Charlee Whitfield 2, Hailey Conatser 2, Madalyn Trocchio 2; Sudan, Hannah Miller 20, Delaine Black 12, Brianna Wallace 7, Lexi Barley 6, Payton Tolbert 2. Records: New Deal 19-12; Sudan 21-4.