Playoff bound ... again

Tivy’s Lady Antler basketball team wrapped up the 13th playoff berth in head coach Christy Dill’s 14 seasons at the helm, punctuating the accomplishment with a 56-29 win over Dripping Springs Friday night in District 26-5A action at Antler Gym.

Photo by Brandy McCoy

Tivy put the wraps on its 2020-21 home floor schedule by knocking off Dripping Springs, 56-29, Friday night at Antler Gym, a win that evened the score for one of the Lady Antlers’ District 26-5A setbacks earlier this season.

Dripping Springs handed Tivy a 34-28 road loss during first-round loop play, but after brief leads in the first quarter in Friday’s rematch, the Lady Tigers were throttled by a suffocating Tivy defense and the Lady Antlers’ best offensive performance in several games.

All nine Lady Antlers that stepped on the floor contributed points while limiting Dripping Springs to single numbers in three of four quarters. Tivy senior Ashlynn Way popped the nets for 14 points, Ashlee Zirkel followed with 11, Riley Dill scored seven, Cassidy Harmon and Stella Hendricks dropped in six each, Jamie Jackson netted five, Laurel Pruitt finished with four, Amelia Balser made two, and Jaida Davis added a free throw.

“It was a great team effort. Everyone stepped up and raised their game,” Tivy coach Christy Dill said. “The girls have just kept chugging away, showing up and trying to get better.”

Tivy trailed only three times in the game, the last being 7-6 with 5:07 left in the first period. At that juncture Way, Dill, Pruitt and Zirkel combined for 11 markers while the Tigers were held to four. Tivy led 17-9 after the opening quarter and was never threatened. Zirkel’s three-pointer and follow up steal and layup during the final 1:50 were exclamation points as the Lady Antlers primed themselves for bi-district playoff action against District 25-5A champion Cedar Park (13-0 in district, 19-1 overall) on Thursday in Johnson City starting at 8 p.m.

“Cedar Park is good and has lots of weapons. We will have to game plan well and execute well,” Dill said.

Way, Zirkel, Riley Dill, Jackson and Hendricks executed to the highest level in the second quarter and helped Tivy post a 32-19 lead at the half. Way had back-to-back buckets, while Zirkel dished a pair of assists, scored twice and had two steals. Dill scored and assisted to Jackson for a three, and the final points of the half were a joint effort after Zirkel stole an errant Tigers pass and dished the ball to Hendricks. who then assisted in to Jackson.

Dripping Springs did wind up with half a dozen treys for the bulk of its points while making only one free throw, and of the Tigers’ five two-point field goals, three occurred in the first quarter.

Tivy closed the game with a 10-0 run in the final 3:45 off points from Pruitt, Balser, Harmon, Hendricks and Davis.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Antlers wrapped up a playoff berth Tuesday despite falling 34-23 to Boerne Champion in more district action in Boerne. The setback failed to stall Tivy's run to another postseason appearance after Dripping Springs lost to Seguin in other loop play.

Zirkel scored seven points against Champion, Laila Casillas dropped in four, Harmon, Davis and Dill added three each, Pruitt chipped in two, and Way added a free throw.

Tivy capped district play Saturday with an 11-5 record after knocking off host Buda Johnson, 39-38, in a game that was postponed from Jan. 26 because of Covid-19 issues. Way and Zirkel both scored 10 points in the contest as the Lady Antlers (14-9) completed a season sweep of the Lady Jaguars.

Harmon finished with five points, Hendricks and Pruitt with four each, Jackson with three, Davis with two and Dill with one.

Tivy led 26-10 at the half and withstood Johnson’s 28-point run in the second half to eke by.

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