For the second time in as many years, the Midlothian Lady Panthers are headed back to the basketball postseason.
The feat was made official last week but became even more real after Midlothian defeated Ennis at home Tuesday night, 61-48.
After the victory, Midlothian head girls' basketball coach Amy Tennison said that "a win is a win and we'll take it."
"I saw spurts of really, really good things and then I saw spurts where we kind of opened the door and let them back into the game," Tennison said. "I'm proud of my kids that we were able to hold a high-octane offense like Ennis to single digits in two quarters. Our kids are playing hard and I'm proud of them."
Kierra Middleton once again led the way for the Lady Panthers in the home victory. The sophomore, who entered averaging more than 19 points per game, scored a game-high 27 points.
Middleton scored 10 of those points in the first quarter and eight more in the second.
Maykayla Jackson scored 11 points, while Maeghan Palmer added seven and Hallie Mayfield had five.
Savanna Glossop and Madeline Reynolds both added four points and Landri Schreier scored two.
Ennis was led by Tyquanna Ross' 21 points and 14 more scored by Paige Lemonia.
Tydra Dickerson scored five, Leah Harris and Tiana Murray-Lewis both added three and L'derria Meyers had two for the Lady Lions.
QUITE THE FINISH
The Lady Panthers won seven of their final eight district games to clinch a second consecutive playoff berth. Last season's trip to the postseason snapped a 12-year drought for the girls' basketball program.
Midlothian will also enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed out of District 14-5A, thanks to nearby Red Oak defeating Waco University on Tuesday, 70-49.
Both Midlothian and Waco University finished District 14-5A with an 8-4 record and split the regular season series, 1-1. Midlothian lost the first matchup on Dec. 18 by six points, 55-49, but bounced back for a seven-point win on Jan. 22, 53-46.
Tennison said she hopes the Lady Panthers will carry confidence from their stellar close to the regular season into the postseason.
"We are excited," she added. "Last year was our first year in the playoffs out of a 12-year drought so this is our second year in a row in the playoffs so now it's time to go win some games. That is our goal and that is our mindset. We need to go make a run. These kids play hard and I have high hopes for us in the playoffs."
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.