Basketball playoffs on two ends of the spectrum Thursday night: a season-ending loss at one site, and a season-extending, five-point win at the other.

Kilgore High School’s Lady Bulldogs ended the 2021 season Thursday at Winona, falling in the first round of the UIL Class 4A girls playoffs, 69-18, to a revved-up Gilmer team that played suffocating defense.

In Hallsville, though, Sabine held off a scrappy Harleton team that had to win a tiebreaker earlier this week to even get into the UIL’s 3A girls postseason. But they did – Sabine’s Lady Cardinals ended that threat, though, 58-53, and advanced to round two.

Sabine 58, Harleton 53: Sabine was outscored 20-8 in the first quarter, probably due in part to a near-week layoff between games, and Harleton’s momentum, after winning the play-in game earlier in the week.

But coach Sara Cantrell settled the Lady Cardinals down, and they trailed by six – 29-23 – at the halftime break.

It was tight, but Sabine poured a little lighter fluid on the flame in the second half, and ultimately won, outscoring Harleton 23-17 in the fourth quarter.

Blaire Kaufman finished with 18 points. Hailey Davis had 12, and Mercedes Willett had 11. Ashlynn Davis chipped in eight, Addy Gresham had four, Ally Gresham had three, and Maddie Furrh, two.

The Lady Cardinals went 32-of-43 from the free throw line.

Sabine is now 21-2 on the season – both losses to District 15-3A champ Gladewater – and moves on to round two, where they’ll face Dekalb. That series has not yet been set. Keep an eye on and when the arrangements are complete, it’ll be announced there.

Gilmer 69, Kilgore 18: Needless to say, Gilmer was geared up to begin its playoff run. The Lady Buckeyes held Kilgore to just seven points at halftime.

Coach Trushundra McGill’s Lady Bulldogs played fairly well down the stretch of the regular season, regularly getting double-double performances from seniors Miah Thomas and Alexis T. Anderson. The offense just simply wasn’t there on Thursday at Winona, in large part due to Gilmer’s swarming defense.

Thomas finished with five points, two rebounds and an assist. Anderson had four points, seven rebounds and blocked two shots.

Also, Leanna Morin had three points, four rebounds and a steal; Summer Hayden-Epps had two points, four rebounds and a steal; Catherine Dennis, just a freshman, had two points and four rebounds; and Emilee Hampton had two points and a rebound.

A note: Kilgore High School’s boys have also qualified for the playoffs and are awaiting an opponent. The Bulldogs, coached by Jeff Coleman, had Friday night – the final night of the regular season – as an open date, and will get either Paris or Pleasant Grove in the first round of the 4A boys postseason next week. Like Sabine’s next game, when Kilgore’s arrangements are set, it’ll be announced on

Sabine’s boys were to finish the regular season at home against Gladewater Friday night, and it looks very likely coach Colby Carr’s Cardinals will be in the same situation: going to the 3A playoffs, but with arrangements pending.

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