It was apparent from the start that no one was going to get off easy when Farwell and Wellington clashed in the Class 2A area round girls playoff game at the Caprock High Gym.
When No. 14 Farwell got off to a strong start in the second half, though, No. 21 Wellington had it a lot less easy.
Farwell opened the second half with 10 straight points and never let up until the final buzzer, leading to a 59-44 victory. The Lady Steers (29-6) now advance to the region quarterfinals against defending state champion Gruver on 6 p.m. Tuesday at Amarillo High.
The intensity was there from the start between two evenly matched teams. Farwell, though, seemed determined to sustain it much longer, opening the second half with 10 straight points to take the lead for good.
“I think they just needed to see something good happen,” Farwell coach Joshua Jourden said of his team. “Two of my posts were struggling and they just needed to see the ball go through the basket. I was feeling pretty good because as soon as they started sinking those, we’d get better shots from the outside.”
The first half was as competitive as to be expected from two teams who carried such impressive records into the game. Neither team held a double-digit lead as Wellington (22-11) led 27-23 at halftime.
Wellington clung to the narrow lead most of the half, as the Lady Skyrockets built their biggest lead by taking a 26-17 margin with three minutes left in the half. However, Farwell scored six of the final seven points of the half for the halftime margin.
That definitely carried over into the second half. Farwell post Makylee Baldwin scored to open the second half and get the ball rolling, starting a 10-0 run for a 33-27 lead which the Lady Steers never relinquished.
Sophomore Bella Jamie was a huge factor in the quarter as well, scoring six points, including a 3-pointer.
“We were just told that we had to play our game because we really didn’t feel good about the first half and (the Lady Skyrockets) were getting to us, but after that we were good,” said Jamie, who had a game-high 13 points, 10 of them in the second half. “We just had to make sure they couldn’t get any more layups on us and play good defense.”
That didn’t mean the Lady Steers could cruise the rest of the way. They only led 40-36 at the end of the third quarter, and Wellington twice cut it to two points, the last time at 44-42 in the fourth quarter.
However, Farwell’s Chloe Whitten, who hadn’t scored in the first three quarters, scored two straight baskets, the last of which was a 3-pointer, to make it 49-42 midway through the quarter, and that seemed to deflate the Lady Skyrockets.
“That was huge,” Jourden said. “That three gave me goosebumps because it was right there in front of me on the sideline. In our first playoff game (Whitten) had 19. You never know who’s going to be our scorer.”
Charlie May Trimble had 12 for Farwell while Baldwin scored 10. Asia Shrubs led Wellington with 12 points (10 from the free throw line) and Charley Wilbur had 11.
What hurt the Lady Skyrockets was they had a tough time taking care of the basketball. From the start they had trouble dealing with Farwell’s double teams and never got into an offensive flow.
“They apply great pressure,” Wellington coach Cade Brown said of the Lady Steers. “My hat’s off to them. They did a great job and it was tough. I was proud of our girls for battling through it all.”
Farwell 12 23 42 59
Wellington 16 27 38 44
F– Bella Jamie 13, Charlie May Trimble 12, Makylee Baldwin 10. W- Asia Shrubs 12, Charley Wilbur 11. Records: Farwell 29-6, Wellington 22-11.