CARROLLTON — There have been times when Argyle freshman Vivian Gray has showed her age on the basketball court this season.
Friday night was not one of those times. Once Gray settled into her groove, it seemed like she couldn’t miss.
Gray scored 28 of her season-high 30 points in the first half of Argyle’s 66-36 win against Dallas Roosevelt in a Class 3A Region II area contest at Carrollton Turner.
“She came a million miles tonight,” Townsend said. “She was exemplary in that first half, just unbelievable. That’s the girl that I always thought that’s the way she can play.”
The Lady Eagles (32-1), which came into the playoffs ranked No. 2 in 3A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, advances to face Decatur in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday at Fort Worth Chisholm Trail. As of Friday night, a time had not been finalized.
Roosevelt (21-9) is knocked out of the postseason.
In Argyle’s playoff-opening win against Sanger on Monday, the Lady Eagles could not create separation until the second half. Because of Gray’s hot start, Argyle did not sputter early on Friday night.
Argyle often found the gaps in Roosevelt’s 1-2-2 full-court press and Gray was able to move off the ball and capitalize.
She knocked down 14 of 17 shots, and Roosevelt couldn’t find an answer for her. Roosevelt switched to man-to-man coverage in the second quarter.
“They really pressured the wings in that zone they’re in, so we knew the middle was going to open,” Townsend said. “We put Vivian in the middle and said, ‘Vivian, you’re going to take shots tonight.’”
Gray moved well off the ball and was open for easy layups. She also pulled up in transition and knocked down key buckets for the Lady Eagles. After scoring 42 points in its win against Sanger, Argyle took a 41-19 lead over Roosevelt into the halftime break.
After the game, Gray said she didn’t anticipate lighting up the scoreboard like she did on Friday night.
“I didn’t think I would, but I knew our team was going to play well,” Gray said. “We prepared a lot.”
Argyle’s preparation also paid off on the defensive end.
Townsend knew Roosevelt liked to hoist a multitude of shots and crash the boards. Townsend’s suspicions were confirmed early on. Roosevelt went 5-of-16 in the first quarter, while Argyle only missed five shots in the frame.
“We couldn’t put the ball in the whole in the beginning,” Roosevelt head coach Carmen Hardcastle said. “We went down the floor many times and couldn’t hit a bucket. I don’t know if it was nerves or what.”
Argyle held Roosevelt’s leading scoroer, senior Jamica Wright, to seven points. Wright fouled out in the fourth quarter.
By then, Argyle’s berth in the regional quarterfinals was sealed, largely in part to Gray’s hot shooting at the outset of the contest. The early shakiness that plagued the Lady Eagles earlier in the week was absent against Roosevelt.
“I think we got a little bit of the jitters out against Sanger,” Townsend said. “We knew that going into tonight’s game, we couldn’t run basketball plays. We had to go out and play basketball.”
Argyle 66, Dallas Roosevelt 36
Argyle (32-1) — Vivian Gray 30, Delaney Sain 12, Jesse Sheridan 7, Jocelyn Pierce 3, Olivia Gray 2, Claire Betzhold 5, Madison Ralston 5, Allison White 2.
Roosevelt (21-9) — Tiona Owens 10, Imogen Mosely 4, Shauvon Vaughn 14, Jamica Wright 7, Deirea Devine 1.