By Kevin Wilson
TEXICO — With tough schedules earlier in the season, Dora and Logan were better than their combined records of 5-11 might suggest.
With 8-1 Texico waiting in the bracket, though, it was the Lady Longhorns that were able to hit crucial jumpers and start off the Eastern Plains Athletic Conference tournament with a 46-40 win Tuesday afternoon in the Texico Sports Arena.
Logan faces the top-seeded Lady Wolverines (8-1) in a 6 p.m. game today, while Dora will take on Floyd Wednesday at
Logan senior Nichol Rogers and Dora junior Kassandra Clark each had 18 points, but the Lady Longhorns (4-6) were able to take control with a 7-0 run in the third, a 6-0 burst early in the third and a 4:06 scoreless stretch in the fourth for Dora (2-6).
“They shot the ball better and that was the big difference, I think,” Dora coach Bill Stockton said. “Both teams were patient in their offense, moving the ball around for open shots. They hit theirs and we didn’t.”
Dora led 26-25 on a set shot from Clark for the ninth lead change of the game before Logan’s first run 7-0 run. Rogers’ three-point play gave Logan a 29-26 advantage, the 10th and final lead change, with 1:55 left in the fourth.
Throughout the contest, Logan was able to respond to different defensive looks by the Lady Coyotes, who alternated between a 2-3 zone, a 1-2-2 zone, a fullcourt trap and a halfcourt trap.
“We were just trying to create turnovers so we could get the ball back,” Stockton said.
Logan coach Bridget Rae credited point guard Melissa Hampton for reacting correctly in most circumstances. At times, Hampton controlled the ball for a long period while her teammates set up a high-percentage shot with Rogers; and others she created easy layups for Breanna Bruhn (14 points) and others by getting the ball upcourt before Dora could get set.
“My point guard is really good at knowing when she can go and when she has numbers, and when she is getting into a trap,” Rae said of Hampton. “I give her all the credit because she knows when is a good time to be aggressive.”
Logan led by as much as 10 through the fourth, and Dora got no closer than five in the final five minutes. The Lady Longhorns led 45-35 with a half minute to go, but Clark hit a 3-pointer and Morrow had a putback to cut Logan’s lead in half.