Stephenville High School girls basketball coach Jason Hodges had mentioned last week that he expected the Honeybees’ District 7-4A girls basketball matchup against Godley Tuesday at home would be a tough battle.
That’s despite the fact that the Lady Wildcats came into the game against the state-ranked Honeybees having lost four of their first five district games, and 15 of their 23 games overall.
Hodges’ hunch was correct, as Godley held the Honeybees to just three points in the second quarter on the way to a 50-34 victory over SHS in Gandy Gym.
The top scorers in the game for SHS (4-3 in district, 23-10 on the season) were Landri Withers and Mikayla Diaz with seven points each. Godley (now 2-4 in district, 9-15 overall) had two players score in double figures.
The Honeybees are now No. 15 in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A girls state rankings.
The playoff-bound Honeybees were scheduled to play their final regular-season game Friday (Feb. 7) at Brownwood (varsity at 6 p.m.). Sixth-ranked Glen Rose (7-0 in district) has the district title put away in the five-team girls race for four playoff spots. Stephenville (4-3, 23-10) can still clinch the runner-up spot in the district by beating the Lady Lions (3-3). Brownwood still has one more district game remaining, Tuesday at Mineral Wells (0-6).
Glen Rose will take on the No. 4 team coming out of District 8-4A, 13-12 Krum, in the first playoff round. The second- and third-place teams from District 8-4A (currently 19-5 Bridgeport, ranked 13th, and 27-5 Decatur, ranked 14th) will be matched against either SHS or Brownwood in bi-district.
Hodges referred to the Brownwood contest as a “business trip,” adding, “We still control our own destiny. We need to take care of business — and have the kids step up to the challenge. They’ve done it all year. We have resilient kids, and I know they are going to win Friday night.”
The Honeybees were able to pick up their offensive pace in the second half Tuesday, and outscored the Lady Wildcats 15-12 in the fourth quarter. But the deficit — 27-9 at halftime — was just too large to overcome.
“We waited too late to start playing,” Hodges said after the game. “Godley came out aggressive and put us on our heels. It’s hard to come back from a 19-point deficit (Godley’s largest lead). We just ran out of gas. They shot the ball extremely well. They executed and we didn’t.”
Hodges said that the Godley girls also did a better job of going after loose balls.
“They got more of the 50-50 balls, and converted more of those points,” Hodges noted.
Other scoring for the Honeybees was provided by Jade Wilson and Jettie Funderburgh with six points each, Jaylee Matthews with five, Katie McIrvin with two and Kassidy Nowak with one. The team’s depth got a little better on Monday, when Zoe Birdwell and Dayanira Inman returned to practice after being out with flu symptoms.