EUSTACE — The Midlothian Lady Panthers are only two steps way from the University Interscholastic League state girls’ basketball tournament.
In a hard-fought battle on Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers battled back from a three-point shortfall at the start of the fourth period and upset Class 5A No. 13-ranked Jacksonville, 42-38, in the 5A Region II quarterfinals at Eustace High School.
The Lady Panthers (24-13) will face Frisco Lone Star on Friday evening at 6 p.m. at Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center in the 5A Region II semifinals. The second game pits 5A No. 3 Red Oak (29-6) against No. 25 Frisco Liberty at 7:30, and the two winners will square off on Saturday afternoon with a trip to state on the line.
Kadia Ward led the Lady Panthers against Jacksonville with 13 points, followed by Jerica Henderson with a dozen. Rounding out the total were Maykayla Jackson with seven points, Elise Jones with six and Landri Schreier with four.
The Maidens jumped out to a 15-8 lead after one quarter, but MHS stayed within sight and cut the margin to 19-17 at halftime. The game stayed tight throughout the third period, and Jacksonville held a 30-27 edge at the end of the quarter.
Grace Abercrombie led Jacksonville with 14 points and Alexis Calderon added 11.
On Friday, the Lady Panthers led by nine points after eight minutes of action and never looked back in a 62-53 victory over No. 15-ranked Royse City in an area-round matchup.
Henderson led the Lady Panthers with 20 points and Jackson was close behind with 17. Other scorers were Ward and Bailey Davis with seven points each, Schreier with four, Aaniya Hayes with three, and Hallie Mayfield and Jones with two apiece.
MHS took a 20-11 lead at the end of one and widened it to 38-24 at the half. The Lady Panthers took a 15-point lead into the fourth.
Boys: MHS 43, Poteet 31
CEDAR HILL — The Midlothian Panthers opened their Class 5A Region II playoff run on Tuesday night with a 43-31 victory over Mesquite Poteet in the bi-district round at Cedar Hill High School.
The Panthers (24-9) will next face Mount Pleasant (30-3) in the area round at 7 p.m. on Friday at Rockwall High School.