Lady Jackets advance to regional quarterfinals

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The Mineola Lady Jackets secured an area championship Friday with a 37-15 victory over the Pottsboro Cardinals at Greenville High School. Both teams worked hard against the opposing zone defenses, with Mineola holding a significant edge in shooting percentage throughout the game. 

Playoff basketball is all about the end result. The Lady Jackets are likely not pleased with their overall performance against Pottsboro, but a win is a win, and the Lady Jackets have reserved their place at regional quarterfinals (Mineola faced Bells Tuesday).    

On the night, the Pottsboro shooting was woeful. The Lady Jackets took advantage of this fact and stretched their initial 8-0 advantage to a 23-10 halftime lead. The Pottsboro shooting problems were puzzling in that they had plenty of open shots in the first half but could not get the ball to fall. After halftime the Lady Jackets put the Cardinal shooters under extra pressure and almost shut the Cardinals out in the second half. 

Mineola held the edge in all aspects of the game. In addition to shooting percentage, the Lady Jackets were more aggressive, more balanced and much better in transition. 

There were occasions when Pottsboro could have begun a surge, but they often turned the ball back over to Mineola at critical junctures. 

The Mineola defense stonewalled Pottsboro’s inside game. The Lady Jackets quickly doubled up when the ball went into the high post, allowing no room to drive. 

Pottsboro attempted to control Sabria Dean through ball denial, but Dean simply defeated that tactic with smart body positioning.  

Dean finished with 15 points and scored, as usual, in a variety of ways. With the score 13-6 early in the second quarter, Dean went on a rampage. She scored on a lay-in, a 3-pointer off a turnover, a jumper, an offensive rebound put back, a free throw and a beautiful turnaround, fall-away jump shot. Her 10-point scoring run separated the teams and established game dominance. 

Up 31-11 going into the final period, the Lady Jackets spread the court and played four corners. It worked like a champ. The first Mineola possession of the fourth quarter burned 43 seconds off the game clock. Pottsboro had only two possessions in the first four minutes of the quarter. Spreading the floor also opened shooting opportunities for Mineola. Cyndi Butler, Tiara Stephens and Tahjae Black recorded scores from the spread.   

The Lady Jackets also played with more energy. They freely platooned Kelsey Brewington, Jayden Gardner and Jessiah Riley into the game. The mix of talented players gave Mineola an marked advantage.  

Mineola faced an unfamiliar foe in Pottsboro and proved that they were more than prepared.

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