JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
LA GRANGE — Burnet High School girls basketball coach Doug Messer summed up the Lady Dawgs’ 57-49 win over Wharton in the second round of the playoffs in one word: Wow.
Wow is right, considering the Lady Tigers (31-1) hadn’t lost a single game and were ranked No. 9 in the final Class 4A poll of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. They had been ranked as high as No. 3 by other services.
In short, few people gave the Lady Dawgs (19-13) much of a chance for a victory, which meant even more to the program, Messer said.
“This win is huge for these kids, our community and our school,” he said. “I was extremely proud of our kids and the way they handled themselves throughout the game. We had a plan, and we stuck to it. We played our style, and like most games, we wore them out throughout the four quarters.”
Burnet turned a 30-20 halftime deficit into a 39-35 advantage headed into the final stanza highlighted by 3-pointers from senior guards Shaylah Hullum and Afabiana Brooks. Sophomore center Marissa Escamilla and senior forward Katelyn Pool provided points in the paint.
The key for Burnet was its ability to handle Wharton’s full-court pressure. That set the tone from the beginning with the Lady Dawgs trailing 15-14 after the opening period.
And limiting the Lady Tigers’ second-chance points also proved pivotal in the outcome, Messer said.
“We had to keep them off the offensive boards,” he said. “This was the equalizer for us. We did a pretty good job limiting their second-chance points and did a great job of attacking them on the offensive end.”
The final positive factor for Burnet was its ability to get scoring from several players. That stretched Wharton’s defense and gave Messer options on his rotation.
“We got into some early foul trouble, and others stepped right in and answered for us,” he said. “Great team effort, determination and pride exhibited by the Lady Dawgs.”
ON OFFENSE: Hullum 10, Pool 5, Bernal 3, Escamilla 21, Brooks 15, Skinner 3
RECORDS: Burnet is 19-13 overall, 7-3 in District 25-4A; Wharton is 31-1 overall, 10-0 in District 2 -4A
UP NEXT FOR BURNET: 7 p.m. Feb. 23 vs. Brazosport (28-5 and ranked No. 15 by TABC) at Brenham High School, 525 A.H. Ehrig Drive in Brenham. Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune, or online at KBEYFM.com.