Kendyl Wright may not know what it’s like to play in a postseason game. But she will by next week.
Wright, a junior, scored a game-high 30 points on Friday night as Aubrey beat Carrollton Ranchview 46-41 at Billy Ryan Gym in a District 10-3A play-in game. The Lady Chaparrals (13-13, 2-7 district) and Ranchview (6-15, 1-8) came in with two district wins between them — both against each other — which put them in a tie for fourth place at the end of the regular season.
“I’m a junior now and we hadn’t made the playoffs since I’ve been here, so I made up my mind there was no way we were going to lose,” Wright said.
Aubrey snapped a two-year playoff drought with the win and plays Decatur in the bi-district round.
“After the district we played in, I’m just excited for the kids,” Aubrey coach Johnny Hodge said. “In my opinion our district is the toughest in the state, so I’m very proud of these girls.”
The district was no cakewalk for Aubrey or Ranchview. Argyle and Celina are ranked second and third in Class 3A, respectively, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Frisco Lone Star was also ranked at one time but has since dropped out of the poll.
The Lady Wolves forced the play-in game with a 14-point win on Tuesday at Aubrey, but didn’t get going offensively on Friday until the fourth quarter. Ranchview trailed by nine at the end of the third and scored 21 in the fourth quarter, but it couldn’t get closer than three points despite forcing Aubrey into 19 turnovers.
Wright’s performance overshadowed all of that. She scored 19 of her points in the second half, where she was also 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. Nursing a three-point lead with 1:28 left, Aubrey was a perfect 8-of-8 from the line down the stretch.
“We all put it in God’s hands tonight,” Wright said. “We knew if we came out as a team, we could beat this team tonight. We put in a bunch of time this week and listened to what our coaches were saying. I think Tuesday’s loss made the team realize that other players needed to step up.”
Though Wright dominated the stat sheet, she was one of five players to score for Aubrey. Scarlett Gregory added six points and Alex Martinez scored four.
Ranchview got 21 points from Michole Amos and 13 from Taylar Walker.
The Lady Chaparrals did fall behind early in the first quarter, but set the tone for the rest of the game with a 13-3 run that extended through the next quarter and gave them a 21-13 halftime lead. Aubrey closed out the third quarter with an 8-2 run.
“They [Ranchview] hit six 3s, I believe, the last time we played them so that made a difference,” Hodge said. “I think their quickness kept us from really getting our offense going tonight, but the girls were composed enough to get the win.”
Aubrey 46, Carrollton Ranchview 41
Aubrey (13-13, 2-7) — Kendyl Wright 30, Alex Martinez 4, Scarlett Gregory 6, Hannah Schmitz 3, Charity Northcutt 3.
Carrollton Ranchview (6-15, 1-8) — Michole Amos 21, Asia Bell 2, Taylar Walker 13, Ebony Williams 1, Alexa Jackson 4.