With her down one against a storming Beaumont West Brook midway in the third quarter, Clear Creek coach Kristi Odom called timeout to settle her squad.
Behind an oppressive defense and a dominant effort on the boards, the Wildcats rallied for a 51-42 win over the Bruins in a Region III-6A area round matchup at C.E. King High School on Saturday.
The win moves Clear Creek to a regional quarterfinal date against Humble Summer Creek at 6 p.m. Tuesday at La Porte High School.
“I just told them to settle down,” said Odom of the timeout, which occurred with 3:42 left in the third when West Brook took its last lead of the game when Makala Darden’s layup gave them a 31-30 margin. “I told them to just hold on to the ball and regain focus.”
Despite being held without a field goal for the first 6:04 of the third, the Wildcats weathered the storm by using free throws to retake the lead for good, a lead that Kennedy Williams’ basket at the horn gave them a 38-31 advantage entering the fourth.
West Brook made one last sprint to close within 46-42 with 2:12 remaining, but consecutive baskets from Ellya Ellis sealed the deal for Clear Creek.
Although Ellis scored a game-high 24 points, it was her 17 rebounds and five blocked shots that helped secure the win for Creek, who out-rebounded West Brook by 15.
“We sagged the help pretty hard,” said Odom. “That’s something we pride ourselves on. Most of all we out-rebounded them, and that was crucial.”
Clear Creek dominated much of the first half, leading by as much as 19-8 with 5:15 in the second quarter. The Bruins got within 21-16, but a trey from Bria Reed helped the Wildcats take a 28-21 lead at intermission.
Williams added 10 points for Clear Creek, which also got five each from Reed and J.J. Schmaltz, three from Shaw, two from Lili Pena and one point from Kristen Lockett-Bell.
Jacei Denley led West Brook with 16. Indiyah Locke added 11, Paris Nixon had seven, Angel Redmond scored five, and Darden had three.