By Mercedes Mayer
FORT WORTH - Even with a No. 14 state ranking and District 7-4A Championship under their belts, the Aledo Ladycats are playing with a chip on their shoulders.
So once again they put the pedal to the metal, beating Saginaw 59-30 in a Class 4A Area Round matchup at Chisholm Trail High School Thursday night.
"As a team, we know what it's like to come and out and lose early in the playoffs, and it doesn't feel good," junior Megan Wood said. "I don't think any of us want to feel like that again, so we go out there with a little chip on our shoulders knowing that we're all going to finish it early in the game and not even have to worry about the end."
After scoring the first 13 points of the game in a 67-48 Bi-District win over Burleson Monday night, Aledo led the Roughriders 13-1 in the first 4 1/2 minutes Thursday. Now they await Friday night's Wichita Falls Rider-Granbury winner for a Regional Quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday.
Sophomore Alyssa Dry led Aledo with 13 points, while senior Mallory Powell scored 10 for the Ladycats (27-7). Sophomore Justis Szczepanski-Beavers finished with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
After leading 21-11 after the first quarter, Aledo held Saginaw (23-11) to just four points in the second quarter to lead 33-15 at halftime. Dry scored eight of Aledo's 12 points in the quarter.
The Roughriders had just two field goals in the third quarter as Aledo extended its lead to 20-plus points for good after Powell hit two free throws with 2:26 to play to make it 41-20.
"They've bought in to our style - it's man-to-man, get after you," coach Rusty Johnson said. "They played with confidence, trusted their teammates. That's what we do and that's what we're going to keep doing."