A big start to the fourth quarter helped propel the Sterling girls into the Class 2A tournament semifinals.
Sterling led by a point heading to the fourth and then reeled off the first eight points of the final frame.
Jackson Heights cut it to five twice but could draw no closer as the Black Bears notched a 66-58 victory on Thursday at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
“The fourth quarter we decided, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go get it,” Sterling coach Jill Rowland said. “Brought a little energy back to the game and got after them.”
Sterling (20-4) will meet WaKeeney-Trego (20-3) in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Black Bears used a balanced offensive attack, placing four in double figures. They were led by 16 points from Kali Briar while Kayla Morris and Sadie Beagley each had 12 points and Makenna Linden chipped in 10.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that contribute that have been willing to play roles,” Rowland said. “Nobody really cares about having to be the go-to person. A lot of selflessness on this team. I really think that’s our strength — kids just wanting to put the team above self. They’re a fun group to coach.”
Jackson Heights was led by the tandem of Kylie Dohl and Amaya Marlatt. Dohl had a game-high 19 and Marlatt finished with 18.
The Cobras, making their first state appearance in 20 years, finished the season 17-6.
“We knew Sterling was one of the top teams here,” Jackson Heights coach Dan Shupe said. “They have a real good team. They’re very aggressive kids, good shooters.
“It was a high-quality 2A basketball game. I’m not hanging my head at all. I’m proud of my kids and the effort they gave. They gave this type of effort all season. We broke through and we’ll work hard to get back here next year.”