Basketball: Will the Ryan girls make the region tournament?

Denton Ryan Lady Raiders senior guard Julia McKeathen (5) and senior point guard Traeli Calhoun (33) hug after a win against the Chisholm Trail Lady Rangers. The Lady Rangers faced-off against the Lady Raiders, Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at Keller High School in Keller, Texas. Tomas Gonzalez/DRC

Denton Ryan Lady Raiders senior guard Julia McKeathen (5) and senior point guard Traeli Calhoun (33) hug after a win against the Chisholm Trail Lady Rangers. The Lady Rangers faced-off against the Lady Raiders, Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at Keller High School in Keller, Texas. Tomas Gonzalez/DRC

The Ryan girls have a chance to make the Class 5A region tournament in the same season where they won their first playoff game since 2011.

To keep that magical run going, the Lady Raiders first have to knock off Birdville at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night in a third round game at Keller Central.

So the biggest question for Ryan fans is: Can Ryan win?

At this point, anything is possible. I don’t think anyone is surprised that Ryan has made it this far, but the fact that Birdville is the opponent may be more of a head scratcher. Birdville is good but clearly many people had Saginaw Boswell pegged for this round. Boswell was coming off an absolute thrashing of Denton in the first round and was ranked No. 5 in Class 5A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

When I spoke to Ryan coach Monesha Allen immediately following Ryan’s 60-51 win over Grapevine on Thursday, she praised Boswell up and down and seemed as if she knew that would be who they’d face next.

Birdville had other plans, beating Boswell in overtime, 41-39.

Birdville will be led by senior Savannah Lawson, who scored 17 points to go with 11 rebounds and four steals against Boswell. That included a layup with 24 seconds left to lift her team to the OT win.

Her performance was just good enough to offset a huge night from Boswell’s Audrey Warren, who finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks. My buddy, Brian Gosset, covered the game that night for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. You can read about it here.

Regardless of who they play, Ryan could be difficult to beat if it continues its hot shooting from last week. The win over Grapevine saw the Lady Raiders hit seven 3-pointers, six from C’yera Coleman, and still get 18 points from senior post player Traeli Calhoun. Grapevine stormed back from a 19-point deficit, but could not maintain the same hot shooting.

One more win, and it’s a region tournament trip for Ryan or Birdville.

 

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