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Aledo junior guard Logan Mittie scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Ladycats to a 41-37 victory over Birdville Dec. 18 in a District 6-4A contest at the Aledo High School gym.
The win elevates the Ladycats to 13-5 and 2-0 in district play. The Aledo ladies will play next in non-district action at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Keller Central.
The Ladycats will continue district play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, at home against Brewer. The Bearcats game will follow at 5 p.m.
Ladycats head coach Rusty Johnson said Birdville came into the contest wanting to play a deliberate style of offense.
"Birdville played a slow-down offense," Johnson said. "They really wanted to spread it out and slow it down. As long as we were tied or ahead, we would just sag off and not play into it. A lot of time ran off the clock during that stretch."
Aledo took an 11-10 lead after the first quarter, but the Lady Hawks went on a 14-5 run in the second period to take a 24-16 lead at the half.
"In the second quarter we got down, so we had to get out and pressure them," Johnson said. "When you do that, you become more vunerable to being to penetrate and drive the lane, and we got in foul trouble."
Trailing by eight to begin the second half, the Ladycats stepped up their defense and held Birdville to just two points. Meanwhile, Aledo poured in 10 points to tie the contest at 26-26 as the game entered the fourth quarter.
"We came out in the third quarter fast and caught back up pretty quick," Johnson said. "We got some good looks offensively off our defensive pressure. We seized the lead in the fourth quarter and took control of the game from there."
Mittie took over on offense as the Ladycats outscored Birdville 15-11 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory and stay undefeated in district play.
"Logan stood out for us again," Johnson said. "In the fourth quarter she completed two big three-point plays where she drove for a layup, was fouled, and hit the free throws. But I thought all of the girls handled themselves extremely well. There wasn't much ebb-and-flow to the game, and there were times when the clock ran for two or three minutes at a time.
“They (Birdville) were in no hurry to do anything. We had minimal turnovers and we took care of the ball. We didn't rebound well in the first half, but we did in the second half. When we rebound, we have a pretty good chance of having success. But when we don't, we will struggle."
Also scoring for the Ladycats were Tara Gough with seven points, Mallory Powell with five, Caileen Tallant with four, Alanna Martin and Sarah Hawkins, each with three, and Melissa Howell with two.
Johnson said winning two district games before the Christmas break was extremely important for the Ladycats.
"It was huge to win these first two district games before Christmas break," Johnson said. "To make sure we took care of Birdville (one of four favorites in 6-4A to qualify for the playoffs) was huge."