Remaining undefeated through three games in District 10-5A is no easy task, but the Midlothian Lady Panthers found a way to pull off a monumental comeback to do just that Tuesday.
Midlothian scored 50 second-half points to upset the (8-8, 1-2) Mansfield Legacy Broncos 74-61.
The Lady Panthers trailed by nine points a little less than three minutes into the ballgame against Mansfield Legacy, who was a regional semifinalist just one season ago. They were then down 12 points as the two teams broke for the halftime locker rooms.
"In the first half, they got a lot of baskets in transition. Their kids were spotting up for three (pointers) and they did a great job of hitting the three-ball," said Midlothian head girls' basketball coach Amy Tennison. "We made some adjustments at halftime and it kind of worked in our favor. They are a tough team. Our kids came out and really executed as best as we have executed all year in the second half."
Behind 23 points from Kierra Middleton and 21 more from sophomore Tatum Sorrels, the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Broncos 50-25 in the second half of the 74-61 win. Sorrels scored 15 points in the third and fourth quarters to pace the Lady Panther offense during the comeback.
The Lady Panthers converted on 15-of-18 free throws in the second half, while limiting the Lady Broncos to just 2-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe over that span.
Middleton alone finished a perfect 9-for-9 at the line in the second half and 12-of-15 on the evening.
Cristina Balderrama recorded another double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, while Mikaela McGuire chipped in nine points.
"I am extremely proud. It has been a long time since we have been 3-0 to start district play," Tennison added.
The Panthers are now 12-6 on the season and still undefeated in District 10-5A.
The Lady Panthers will enjoy a brief Christmas break before returning to action Dec. 28 in the 56th annual Bush's Chicken MT Rice Tournament hosted by Hewitt Midway High School, just outside of Waco.
On day one of pool play, Wednesday, Dec. 27, Midlothian faces Austin Westlake at 3:30 p.m. and Fort Worth Boswell at 8 p.m. The Lady Panthers then play Waco University at 9:30 a.m. and Godley at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28.
The championships brackets will be played Friday, Dec. 29. All games will be played at Midway High School, Midway Middle School or Connally High School.
The Midlothian girls' junior varsity basketball team also enters the Christmas break with a sparkling 3-0 district record and improved to 15-2 on the year with a win against Legacy on Tuesday. Mia Lara posted a team-high 13 points, while Kacee Nixon scored 11 and Maykayla Jackson had 10.
The freshman squad did not fare as well, falling to Legacy 44-31 after taking a 10-10 tie into the second quarter. Marilyn Johnson scored 12 to lead the Lady Panthers, and Morgan Creal had eight points.
Fred Phipps/Mirror contributed to this report.