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It might not have been the start head coach Chad Weldon and his Central High Lady Bronchos were looking for, but it sure was the finish they wanted.
After a slow first half against Comanche, the Lady Bronchos came to life in the second and turned offensive, earning a semi-final berth in the Stephens County Tournament with a 47-22 victory Monday night.
“In the first half we had the jitters a little bit,” Weldon said. “It’s Stephens County and even though those girls are seniors, some of our shots were going three or four feet over the rim. We settled down at halftime and started working the ball more and hitting our chip shots.”
Clinging to a 16-14 lead at the half, the Lady Bronchos made sure to squash any hopes of a Lady Indians comeback in the third quarter.
An 18-4 run in the third gave Central High a 34-20 advantage going into the fourth, which all but sealed the fate of Comanche.
Despite being down just 9-8 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Indians never quite got over the hump.
Things got worse in the second half as cold shooting, including a 4-for-18 effort from behind the arc added to an already difficult task of shutting down the Lady Bronchos.
“Effort wise in the second half we just didn’t come out and fight,” Comanche coach Sean Hushbeck said. “In the first half we played hard and did the things we needed to do. The reason Central High got comfortable was because we quit playing hard and doing the things we talked about. We’ve got to shoot at least 25 free throws to score.”
CHHS finished 4-for-9 from behind the three-point line on the evening in addition to a 9-for-13 effort from the free throw line.
Lora-Lynn Loomis led the scoring output for the Lady Bronchos (13-4) with 19 points followed by Faith Harris, who registered her third straight double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Lacie Phillips added eight points on the evening, while Caitlyn White scored three points.
Aleia Daniels, Heather Cole and Chelsea Nunley all put in two points.
Comanche (2-10) was led by Brianna Anderson with six points, followed by Hannah Suson, Payge Graham, Jacey Morgan and Baylee Fulford all with three points each.
Thursday night will see the Lady Bronchos face the Velma-Alma Lady Comets in a championship semifinals game at 5 p.m. while Comanche will face Frederick in a consolation semifinal game Friday night at 5 p.m. with both games being played at Marlow High School.
“It’s just good competition late in the year,” Weldon said. “Hopefully we will give a better effort than the last time we played Velma. It’s going to get us prepared for the district tournament.”