Having to wait an extra day due to inclement weather didn’t keep the Pampa High girls from inching up the District 4-4A playoff totem pole.
Hosting Hereford at the McNeely Fieldhouse on Wednesday night, the Lady Harvesters tipped off 23 hours later than expected after Tuesday’s snowstorm wreaked havoc with the area’s basketball schedule. But playing later than scheduled didn’t hurt Pampa High, as the Lady Harvesters never trailed in pulling out a 42-34 victory.
With the win, Pampa High improved to 16-11 and got even in district at 5-5, pulling the Lady Harvesters into a tie with West Plains for the district’s fourth and final playoff spot with four games remaining in the regular season. That Hereford (18-13, 6-4) now sits only a game ahead of PHS in third place only adds to the importance of the win.
“This was a huge win for us,” Pampa High coach Clint Watson said. “Hereford comes in in third place in our district and we needed this one to continue hopes for our postseason and clime as far as we can. Hopefully this gives us momentum for our final four games to keep playing hard.”
While the Lady Harvesters never trailed, they never got comfortable. They twice led by 10 points but that was as big a cushion as they enjoyed.
Pampa High led 18-8 in the second quarter, but Hereford ended the half with a 7-1 run to pull to within 19-15 at halftime. The Lady Whitefaces opened the second half by cutting it to 19-17, but never could pull even.
Neither team had a real big-time offensive run, and defense was what clearly laid the foundation for the Lady Harvesters. They consistently got their hands into Hereford’s passing lanes which resulted in turnovers to deny the Herd a chance to score.
“Defense I felt was what was going to get us as far as possible,” Watson said. “We really bought in once district started. The first two games were rough and after that we had a little meeting really concentrating on working on the defensive end and that set the stage for fastbreak layups and some confidence on offense.”
Berlin Bartlett was the biggest factor for PHS in the second half on offense, scoring 12 of her game-high 18 points after halftime. Bartlett hit four straight free throws to seal the win in the fourth quarter.
Rhoda Buckley came off the bench to score 10 points for the Lady Harvesters.
Hereford 3 15 22 34
Pampa 9 19 27 42
H – Mitzel Rodriguez 13, Saralee Sanchez 8. P – Berlin Bartlett 18, Rhoda Buckley 10. Records: Hereford 18-13, 6-4. Pampa 16-11, 5-5.
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