Written by Matt Wixon
Girls' 4A Region II semifinals: Despite missed shots, Lincoln nets big win, sets up final vs. Frisco Liberty
GARLAND — Lincoln missed all 14 of its 3-point attempts, had a stretch in which it made only 1 of 9 free throws and didn’t make a shot from farther than 12 feet Friday night.
And yet the Lady Tigers won by 15.
“They stepped it up on the defensive end,” coach Carlesa Dixon said after Lincoln beat Mansfield Summit, 48-33, in a Class 4A Region II semifinal at the Curtis Culwell Center.
That was how Lincoln (34-4), which is No. 2 in the 4A state rankings, pulled away from Summit (23-13), the defending 4A champion. Lincoln’s tenacious, full-court defense forced more than 30 turnovers, and it turned many of them into layups.
Junior guard Alisha Washington led Lincoln with 22 points. She scored seven of the points in the second quarter when Lincoln, which is one win from its 12th state appearance, took the lead for good.
Lincoln was scoreless for the game’s first four minutes and Mansfield jumped to a 6-0 lead. But Lincoln got on the board on a steal and layup that was the first of many to come. The Lady Tigers, who have won three state titles since 1999, scored four layups in a two-minute span to turn a 13-11 deficit into a 19-11 lead midway through the second quarter.
The transition baskets were the perfect remedy for the icy outside shooting.
“Get some steals and some layups,” Dixon said. “That’s what we say.”
Frisco Liberty 49, Red Oak 28: Liberty built an early lead with 3-pointers, and forward Bria Frierson scored 16 points inside to make sure Red Oak couldn’t stay close in the second 4A Region II semifinal.
Liberty (35-5) will play Lincoln on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the regional title.
“I think we’re at our peak right now,” said guard Beatrice Acuna, who added 11 points. “We’ll be ready.”
Red Oak (28-10) scored the first basket of the game, but Liberty then reeled off a 13-3 run that included three 3-pointers. Red Oak never got closer than four points after that, and Liberty’s lead was double digits throughout the second half.
Liberty, which had never been past the second round of the playoffs before this season, controlled the boards and limited Red Oak’s second-chance opportunities. Red Oak managed only five field goals in the final three quarters.
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