Longhorns Roll Into Regional Tournament

As W.T. White has built a history-making girls basketball season with such a young roster, defense has provided the foundation.

That was the case again on Monday, when the Longhorns held Mesquite Poteet scoreless for the final seven minutes of a 43-29 win in the Class 5A Region II quarterfinals at Lake Highlands.

The victory continues the best season in program history for WTW, which will meet Princeton in the regional tournament on Friday in Garland.

“It’s a great group of girls,” said W.T. White head coach Tiara Mitchell. “They bought in, they work hard, and they give everything they’ve got every day. They’re locked in.”

The Longhorns (31-3) were led by Lisee McGovern, the only senior on the squad, who scored 14 of her 15 points in the second half and added a game-high 11 rebounds.

McGovern’s paint presence exemplified the height advantage that paired with an aggressive mindset to keep the Lady Pirates (24-13) on their heels — despite inconsistent shooting and 29 turnovers.

“Defense is something we look forward to,” Mitchell said. “We hold ourselves accountable. That’s what wins us games.”

Sophomore guard Dani Diaz added 12 points, including a 25-foot buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter. Ida Gueye grabbed 10 rebounds.

WTW led throughout after Leslie Ineza drained consecutive 3-pointers to open the game. Later, Diaz fueled a 7-0 run before halftime to stretch the advantage to double digits.

The Lady Pirates scored 13 straight points early in the second half to cut the margin to 31-29 following a wing 3-pointer by Gabby Bradley with 7:27 remaining. But they never scored again.

Poteet’s lengthy droughts in the second and fourth quarters were the difference, as WTW closed the contest with 12 straight points to pull away.

“No matter how much pressure comes our way, we can’t let it bust our pipes,” Mitchell said. “When the pressure came, we called a timeout and brought ourselves together. We deserved this opportunity on this big stage.”

Bradley scored nine points, all from the perimeter, while Shae Glover tallied 11 rebounds off the bench for Poteet, which won the District 12-5A title during the regular season.

The Longhorns started their campaign with 18 straight victories, then lost three in a row — including one to potential next-round opponent Princeton — at the Dallas ISD Holiday Invitational tournament. Their current winning streak stands at 13 games.

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