Lady Buffalos earn matchup with Elida

Freedom Newspapers

In District 3-1A girls tournament, Melrose used back-to-back 3-pointers by Zanessa Dodd and Schuyler Cochran in the third quarter to wrest control and the Lady Buffaloes went on to beat Fort Sumner 54-43 in a semifinal game at Fort Sumner.

The win, Melrose’s second at Fort Sumner this year, guaranteed the Lady Buffs (12-15) a spot in next week’s regional tournament. They play at district regular-season champion Elida at 7 p.m. Friday for the 3-1A tournament title.

“We can relax a little bit,” Melrose coach Jason Lee said of advancing to the regionals. “Friday’s game should be a lot of fun.”

After a low-scoring first half, ending with Fort Sumner leading 18-13, the pace picked up in the final two quarters with Melrose rolling up 41 points.

Dodd, a junior, finished with a season-best 18 points, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line. As a team, the Lady Buffs converted 23-of-30 charity shots.

In the final period, Melrose was 16-of-19 from the free throw line with Dodd going 7-for-7.

Sophomore Kimberly Lyons added 13 points, including a key steal and layup in the fourth quarter, while senior Schuyler Cochran scored 11 points.

Trailing 24-23, Dodd banked in a 3-pointer with 2:10 left in the third period to put Melrose in front for good. Cochran, who scored 11 points, added her trifecta a minute later, and two free throws by sophomore Toni Burdine made it 31-24 at the end of the period.

“That kind of got the momentum back,” Lee said. “We just held on from there, and we made our free throws at the end.”

Senior Julie Wood scored 12 points for the Vixens (13-12), while senior Lindsay Mansell added 10.