The Wharton Lady Tigers needed to sweep the final week of the season to grab a playoff spot. However, it wasn’t in the cards as the El Campo Ladybirds grabbed back-to-back wins over the Lady Tigers Tuesday night at Ricebird Gym 58-42 and Wednesday night at Tiger Gym 51-45.
The two wins eliminated Wharton from playoff contention and gave the Ladybirds the second seed in District 24.
After El Campo’s COVID-19 pause, the remainder of district was rescheduled. El Campo had yet to play Wharton, so it was moved and turned into a rare high school back-to-back matchup.
“Two wins in the span of 24-hours, I’m pretty pumped about that,” Ladybirds coach Denise Anderson said. “I’m not that pumped about the way we played (Wednesday). I’m worried about the way we played. I know we’re exhausted and they knew what we were about. We went on the court and we weren’t prepared.”
El Campo came out sluggish and weary Wednesday night.
The Lady Tigers beat El Campo to the glass and took advantage of bad passes grabbing steals early.
Wharton senior J’kayla Davis hit a couple of threes and the Lady Tigers scored a couple of putbacks giving them an early 16-10 lead.
Wharton turnovers and scoreless possessions, coupled with better El Campo play on the offensive side of the ball, saw the Lady Tigers lead slowly drain away.
El Campo seniors, Mya Shorter hit two threes and posts Tia Hearse and V’Nisha Malone were active scoring 11 points between them in the second and third quarters helping the Ladybirds take a 10-point lead into the final frame.
Davis opened the fourth with a jumper, but El Campo followed with a quick 5-0 run to extend their lead to 42-29. Needing a score, Wharton senior Dreana Barrow stopped the run with a layup.
The Lady Tigers scored seven of the next five points, one score coming off an easy steal as El Campo was bringing the ball up the court. With it now an eight-point game, the Ladybirds committed back-to-back turnovers, but Wharton missed shots on both their trips down the court.
Ladybirds senior point guard Jackie Nichols sealed El Campo’s win with two straight cross-court passes to a wide-open Shorter for layups putting them up 12 points with just over two minutes left to play.
Shorter in both games for El Campo scored 29 points, Malone had 22 and Nichols had 21.