MESQUITE – For the second straight playoff game, Highland Park got off to a slow start. But this time, the Lady Scots couldn’t recover.
Rockwall took advantage of too many HP mistakes and pulled away for a 51-31 win on Friday in a Class 6A Region II area round game.
The Lady Jackets (27-6), who have been one of the strongest defensive teams in the Dallas area all season, controlled the tempo with their deliberate pace, which magnified the 13 turnovers committed by the Lady Scots (20-11).
“The turnovers were huge in the beginning of the game,” said HP head coach Nicole Villarreal. “We played tight and we didn’t crash the boards well at all.”
HP endured lengthy droughts without a field goal during each of the first two quarters. The Lady Scots led 3-2 after an early 3-pointer by Emily Weisfeld before Rockwall scored seven straight points and never looked back. As the Lady Jackets gradually pulled away, they were more aggressive both on the perimeter and in the paint.
Rockwall’s Sara Williamson, an Abilene Christian signee, was held scoreless in the first quarter before finishing with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds. She was the only player in the game to reach double figures.
Meanwhile, the Lady Scots were just 5-of-10 from the free-throw line. Weisfeld paced HP with nine points, while Mary Margaret Roberts had six and Morgan Smith added five.
“I know we’re a better team than what showed up tonight,” Villarreal said after the game. “But we’ll be prepared for next year.”
Indeed, the postseason experience – which included playing under pressure in front of a partisan Rockwall crowd – should benefit a roster that will return all five starters and a handful of key bench contributors next year.
“The experience of this was huge,” Villarreal said. “I couldn’t be more proud for what they accomplished in getting this far.”