JOSHUA - The Stephenville Honeybees took another big step toward the playoffs Tuesday, knocking off the Joshua Lady Owls, 37-29.

“Our kids did a good job defensively,” head coach Ron Berry said. “That win was a big one for us.”

Holly Feist led the team with 10 points, Trisha Tuck scored eight, Stacy Slayden had six and Lindsay Bloemhof had five.

Though the Honeybees were an atypical 11-of-21 from the free throw line, they were a sharp 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Tuck and Slayden each had two key 3-pointers.

The Honeybees came out playing inspired defense, allowing the Lady Owls one field goal in the entire first half.

Kelsie Roberson converted a steal into a layup off Stephenville’s full-court press early, giving the Honeybees a 2-0 lead. Tuck and Feist added one free throw apiece, running the lead to four.

Midway through the first quarter, Joshua’s Ashley Clifton hit a pair of free throws, and for a while defense held sway. But the Honeybees ended the quarter with a bang, as Tuck knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, the last off a feed from Bloemhof with just four seconds left, to give the visitors a 10-2 lead.

Clifton hit two more free throws - the Lady Owls didn’t miss from the line until the final minute of the half - but Bloemhof had a layup on the other end to answer. Soon after, Feist converted a Lady Owl turnover into another fast break layup.

Joshua hit two more free throws, and Bloemhof had a jumper to make it 16-6. Joshua post Elizabeth Dominguez drained two more from the charity stripe, then had a chance for a three-point play after getting fouled on a layup.

The shot was Joshua’s first make from the field, with 31 seconds left in the half. The Honeybees had one more opportunity before the break, and Bethanie Young had a putback after a Tuck miss. The Honeybees took an 18-10 lead into the break.

Dominguez had a layup in the first minute of the third quarter, but Feist had a free throw and a layup off a steal to make it 21-12.

The Lady Owls weren’t done just yet, though, as they hit a 3-pointer and four straight free throws to pull within two, 21-19, halfway through the third.

But Slayden responded with a pair of 3-pointers in quick succession. Clifton had a layup, and Feist had a three-point play of her own to stretch the lead to nine, 30-21. But Mason Smart hit a 3-pointer for the Lady Owls just before the buzzer to cut the Stephenville lead to six.

Dominguez had a layup and Smart hit another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one point, but Bloemhof hit a free throw to make it 31-29. Tuck made another free throw, and Stephanie McNeal added another from the line before Kelsey Evans converted both of her shots after getting fouled on a fast break.

Feist had another free throw to make it 36-29 with 1:12 left, as they shut down the Lady Owls. Evans closed the game hitting one of her two free throws, then retrieved the tipped rebound from Feist. The Honeybees held on for the final 20 seconds, and cemented their second-place spot in District 8-4A.

The junior varsity also won, 56-42. Paige Chew and Brianna Bledsoe led the way with 15 apiece. Hillary Laursen and Mara Christian each added eight points.

The freshman team won a close one, 40-35, as Sam Parsons closed the game with a clutch layup. Amber Finley played strong defense, and Latisha Garcia and Sarah Fulfer led the team with 10 points apiece.