Fort Sumner and Melrose will get a quick rematch of Friday’s double-overtime thriller, only this time the stakes will be a little higher.
Fort Sumner held off Floyd 34-31 while Melrose cruised past Dora 49-15 on Monday in District 3-1A girls tournament openers, each on the winner’s home floor. Wednesday night, the third-seeded Vixens (15-8) return to the site of their 34-33, 2-OT loss at Melrose four days ago.
The winner of that one advances to Friday’s 7 p.m. championship game at top-seeded Elida (21-3), and will be assured a state tournament game in the round of 16 a week from Friday.
Fort Sumner completed a three-game season sweep of the Lady Broncos (12-14) after Floyd cut an eight-point deficit through three periods to one on three occasions down the stretch.
The Vixens were far from flawless at the line, but they managed to hit 5-of-10 in the final 58 seconds for a six-point lead before Floyd eight-grader Tori Tucker banked in a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Senior Alex Owens led Fort Sumner with 10 points. The Vixens took control of the game by holding Floyd to seven points over the middle two quarters.
Tucker had two 3-pointers in the final quarter and finished with a game-high 11 points for the Lady Broncos.
At Melrose, the Lady Buffs (17-9) had little trouble advancing despite also having troubles from the free throw line (9-of-21 for the game).
“We didn’t have to work too hard,” Melrose coach Jason Lee said. “Maybe that will help us bounce back on Wednesday.
“It took us a couple of minutes to get going, but when we started picking up our defense and turning them over we were fine.”
The Lady Buffs outscored Dora 17-2 in the second quarter to open a 29-6 halftime lead. Senior guard Zanessa Dodd posted a game-high 15 points for Melrose, while junior guard Taneil Roberts added 11.
Sophomore Tearney O’Connor had seven points for the Lady Coyotes, but no one else had more than two.