FRISCO - Head coach Bubba Stastny began to worry about his Aubrey team during the final three games of District 9-3A play.
"We played badly during those final three district games," Stastny said. "Against teams we beat badly in the first half of district play, we just went through the motions the second time we played them."
Likewise, after a good half on Monday, Aubrey (21-11) never could put away Commerce during the second half of its Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff game.
Raven Massey had 14 points and Kaci Harrison scored 13 as Com-merce (15-14) finally pulled away from Aubrey late in the fourth quarter for a 48-41 win.
The win advanced Commerce, the District 10-3A third-place qualifier, into an area-round meeting with Dallas Roosevelt later this week.
"It was uncharacteristic of us [tonight]. We couldn't catch, couldn't finish and couldn't dribble," said Stastny of Aubrey, which made seven of its 19 turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Sydney Shelstead had 18 points and seven rebounds and junior Presley Stastny added 16 points and five assists for Aubrey (21-11), which made a playoff appearance in its first season in Class 3A as the runner-up from District 9-3A.
"Our goal going into this season was to make the playoffs, and we fought and finished second in our district," Stastny said. "I felt like we had a chance to be in the regional finals, but we weren't ready for this atmosphere. Only one of our five had been in this situation before.
"It's a bitter taste for the seniors, but it was a great season," he said. "I hope they can see that when they look back at this season."
Leading 25-19 at halftime, Aubrey never expanded its lead much more in the third, even having it dwindle to two during the early moments of the quarter after a Massey steal and score.
The biggest advantage came for Aubrey after consecutive inside scores by Shelstead that capped an 8-2 run to garner a 33-25 lead.
"We got an eight-point lead in the third quarter and I thought we'd settle down," Stastny said.
However, Commerce closed the quarter on a 10-2 run, completed via seven unanswered points, to knot the game at 35-35 after three.
Presley Stastny's basket re-tied the game two minutes into the fourth quarter at 37-37, but Commerce countered and never trailed again.
"We didn't run our offense in second half," Bubba Stastny said. "We tried all of our offenses in the second half, but we couldn't get all five girls on the same page."
Aubrey led 25-19 at halftime, as Presley Stastny scored 13 of Aubrey's 21 points in the second quarter to overcome Com-merce's one-point lead after one. Shelstead also had six in the second.
The teams combined for nine first quarter points, as Aubrey used a 1-3-1 trapping zone to hamper Commerce's offense.
Commerce 48, Aubrey 41
Commerce (15-14) - Raven Massey 14, Kaci Harrison 13, April Hines 6, Keirra Thompson 5, Amanda Hill 3, Chelsea Love 3, Taite McBee 2, Devin Rodgers 2.
Aubrey (21-11) - Sydney Shelstead 18, Presley Stastny 16, Kenzie Taylor 3, Kaitlin Brown 2, Kaylee Parker 2.