After giving up 20 first-half points to a single player in the first half of their District 7-4A girls basketball battle at home Tuesday night against Brownwood, the Stephenville Honeybees shifted into another gear in the second half.
The Bees allowed a total of only 13 points in all over the final two quarters as they posted a 50-41 triumph over the Lady Lions in a key district battle.
That improved the Honeybees’s record to 3-1 in district and 22-8 overall. They are currently No. 16 among Class 4A girls teams in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches top 25 rankings. Brownwood slipped to 1-2 in district, and 15-11 overall.
The Bees won’t play again until Tuesday, Jan. 28, in the school’s annual Coaches for the Cure game, benefitting Cayden Inman, a freshman at SHS who is battling cancer. That game is set for 6 p.m., against Mineral Wells. The money from game ticket sales, as well as T-shirt sales and a silent auction (baked goods) will benefit Cayden and his family.
Jaylee Matthews paced the Honeybees Tuesday with 17 points, followed by Kassidy Nowak with 10.
Brownwood senior Matyha Thompson was red-hot on offense with her 20-point first-half performance on eight field goals and 4 of 5 free throws. But she managed “only” eight more points after intermission, for a game-high total of 28 — while the Honeybees were outscoring the Lady Lions 28-13 during that span.
And the offense also started firing on all cylinders for SHS after the break, with Matthews burying three consecutive 3-point buckets in the crucial third quarter when the Bees outscored the Lady Lions 15-5. Then the Bees
“We knew Thompson is a great basketball player. We were fired up about that (the second-half defensive performance),” SHS head coach Jason Hodges said. “The defense stepped up and bottled her up.”
Even a last-second half-court 3-point prayer shot that went in to close out the second quarter didn’t keep the Bees down.
“We shot the ball well, and we made our free throws,” said Hodges, whose team made 9 of 10 free throws in the final quarter. “And after our first half, the defense came to life.”
Hodges explained how that may have happened by saying, “I think we had a good talk at halftime” about how to “fix” some things.
Other scoring for SHS was provided by Landri Withers, with nine points, Mikayla Diaz with seven, Katie McIrvin with five and Zoe Birdwell with two.