WEATHERFORD — The ninth-ranked Stephenville Honeybees survived a third-quarter slump to take a 42-27 victory over Krum Monday night in their Class 4A girls basketball bi-district playoff game at Weatherford High School.
Coach Alan Thorpe’s District 7-4A champion Honeybees improved to 24-7 on the season, and advanced to the area playoff round. They will take on Graham in that second-round playoff game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mineral Wells High School.
Krum, the fourth-place team out of District 8-4A, closed its season with a 12-13 mark.
Jayci Morton and Hannah Bernays combined for 27 points to pace Stephenville on the offensive end. Teammate Alee McClendon added nine points.
The Honeybees had gained a 12-8 lead in the first quarter, but clamped down in the second quarter to allow just two points. That put SHS on top 24-10 at halftime.
But the Lady Bobcats outscored Stephenville 13-10 in the third quarter. They were within eight points (31-23) of the Honeybees at the 1:21 mark in the third quarter.
But the Honeybees began to regain control and stretched their lead back to 11 (34-23) by the end of the third quarter. SHS then outscored Krum 8-4 in the final quarter to close out the win.
The SHS victory wasn’t a bad birthday gift for Bernays, a senior guard who scored 13 points for the Honeybees to back up the 14 scored by Morton.
“It’s a pretty good birthday present,” Bernays said, noting that the team didn’t have a good third quarter.
“We didn’t come out too hot, and we let them get the momentum, but we knew we could get it back,” Bernays said. “I think we have the potential to be a really good team. We love each other, and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Thorpe observed that the team’s play got a little sloppy turned the ball over too many times in the third quarter, possibly due in part to the team having an 11-day layoff following their final district game.
“It was just uncharacteristic turnovers,” Thorpe said. “I thought we came out strong. Then we pulled it back in in (late) in the third quarter.
“They knew (the Lady Bobcats) were not going to quit. I told (the Honeybees) that they were a second-half time. I thought we did settle down in the fourth quarter and handled the pressure, so I thought we did a really good job.”
The Honeybees, No. 9 in the current Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A rankings, hit 17 of 25 free throws in the game.
Unranked Graham (15-9) was the runner-up in District 6-4A with a 5-3 record. Thorpe said after the Krum game that he did not yet have a lot of information about the Graham squad.
Graham advanced with a 69-56 bi-district victory over Sweetwater Monday night in Breckenridge, getting 27 points from Ryan Gober and 12 from Cammi Teplicek.
Thorpe said it was a good for his team to have to fight to stay on top in the second half against Krum.
“Going into the playoffs you want a game where you have to play hard,” the coach said. “They man-pressed us and zone-pressed us. I thought we had a good game plan.”