Sandiettes Clinch Playoff Berth with Win over Lady Mustangs

Grapeland Takes Down Slocum, 54-33

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

SLOCUM – It’s that time of year once again. Basketball teams are starting to make plans for the post-season while still trying to finish out their district schedules. Such is the case for the Grapeland Sandiettes who clinched a playoff berth with their 54-33 win over the Slocum Lady Mustangs on Tuesday evening.

Grapeland will enter the postseason with no less than the number three seed out of District 20-2A and could move into the number two position if they defeat the Lovelady Lady Lions next week.

The Sandiettes’ and Lady Mustangs’ game was delayed for a little bit as the Grapeland and Slocum JV boys were engaged in a triple OT thriller. Grapeland’s Chase Ivy drained a three-pointer with less than a minute left in the third OT and Jax Vickers made one of two from the line to seal the deal as the JV Sandies won by a final score of 40-36.

Once the JV finished up, the girls took the court and the Sandiettes’ defense stole the show as they held the Lady Mustangs to only four points in the first quarter. The Grapeland D kept the Slocum offense from bringing the ball across midcourt twice in the period, which resulted in two 10-second violations.

The Sandiettes also forced a five-second violation when the Lady Mustangs couldn’t inbound the ball. As a result of the tenacious D, Slocum only managed to score four points in the opening eight minutes of the contest on two apiece from Lexi Bennett and Libby Kessel.

Grapeland’s first quarter scoring came from Teira Jones with 11 points and Mary Jane Watson with five. Te’Lia Arthur connected from three-point land and Christi Shepherd had two as the Sandiettes led 21-4 after one.

The second quarter saw the Grapeland defense continue to play well, but the Slocum offense started to get some shots to fall. Julie Neal connected on a three while Audrey Leuschner added two. Bennett converted another pair from the charity stripe while Marlee Lasiter and Abby Sarraf both made one of two from the line.

Watson came alive in the second quarter for the Sandiettes with two three-pointers as part of her eight points in the period. Jones and Arionna Davis both connected from behind the arc while Cyshia Black found the scoring column with two. Shepherd and Kyelan Beazley both made one of two from the free throw line to help Grapeland take a 39-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Following the break, the Sandiettes’ shooting turned ice cold as they only scored four points on twos from Arthur and Jones.

The Lady Mustangs were able to take advantage of the Grapeland shooting woes and sliced into the Sandiettes’ lead. Bella McNeill drained a three while Kessel, Sarraf and Annie Cockerham all chipped in two as Slocum trimmed the Grapeland advantage to 43-22 after three periods of play.

As the fourth quarter got underway, the Lady Mustangs continued to whittle away at the Sandiettes’ lead. Slocum cut the margin to 17 at the six-minute mark and 14 with 4:59 left in the game.

Unfortunately, that was as close as the Lady Mustangs would get as Arthur and Jones pushed the lead back to 18 for Grapeland, as the Sandiettes pulled away to pick up the 54-33 victory.

On the game, the Lady Mustangs were led in scoring by Bella McNeill with seven points. Lexi Bennett, Libby Kessel, Marlee Lasiter and Landry Taylor all had four. Both Julie Neal and Abby Sarraf dropped in three while Annie Cockerham and Audrey Leuschner had two apiece to round out the Slocum scoring.

The Sandiettes were led by Teira Jones with a game-high 20 points. Mary Jane Watson connected on four three-pointers as part of her 16 points on the night and Te’Lia Arthur dropped in nine. Arionna Davis and Christi Shepherd both netted three while Cyshia Black added two and Kyelan Beazley chipped in one to account for the Grapeland point production.  

The win gives Grapeland a record of 7-2 in District 20-2A, with district match-ups against Leon, Centerville and Lovelady still remaining before the post-season begins.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].  

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