Stephenville (13-2, 2-0) scored the first 11 points of the night and the lead was never less than five as the Honeybees won their fifth straight in a 57-45 District 8-4A triumph over Crowley (6-7, 1-1) at Gandy Gym Friday night.
Standout scorer Brianna Bledsoe was relatively quiet most of the night before scoring nine points in the final three minutes to finish with 18.
Crowley was within six before Bledsoe sandwiched an off-balance runner and a deep three around a Crowley basket in the paint to make it 50-41 with 2:20 remaining. She then went 4-4 at the free throw line in the final 1:45.
As a team, Stephenville was 7-8 at the line in the final three minutes to seal the win.
Crowley hit three-point field goals to close the gap to five twice early in the fourth, but Alex Huckabee answered each time, hitting from deep to make it 40-32 at the 7:03 mark, then 43-35 with 6:01 left.
The Bees stretched the advantage back to double figures when Kyndra Schouten made it 45-35 with 4:25 on the clock, but Crowley used back-to-back baskets in the in the paint to pull within six before Bledsoe took over down the stretch.
Crowley was playing catchup all night after being outscored 11-0 in the first five minutes. Bledsoe and Kelsey Evans each scored four during Stephenville’s big start, while Mara Christian drained a three.
Evans finished with 14 points and a handful of steals while Christian had 12. Huckabee hit three from downtown to score nine, while Schouten and Gaby Lazarine each had two.
The teams combined for 44 turnovers, including 24 by Crowley. Stephenville turned the Lady Eagles’ first three giveaways into seven quick points as part of the early run that proved to be the difference.