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Jackson, Lady Hawks end tremendous Lady Mustangs season

SILSBEE – A super basketball season came to an end for the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs Tuesday night as they ran into a state power and fellow District 22-4A member Hardin-Jefferson in the Class 4A Region III regional quarterfinals.

The Lady Mustangs battled the Lady Hawks much tougher than they did in their two battles in 22-4A play but WO-S had no answer in stopping arguably the best player in Southeast Texas in Lady Hawk sophomore Ashlon Jackson.

Jackson poured in a game-high 31 points, including 27 in the first half as she led the Lady Hawks to a 63-41 victory at Silsbee High School.

Jackson connected on seven three-pointers for the night, six of them coming in the first half as she led a pair of surges by the Lady Hawks (30-8) to enable them to pull away.

The loss was bittersweet for the Lady Mustangs (21-13), who motored their way to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

First-year head coach D.J. Wilson had the Lady Mustangs believing and pushed them to be the best they could be as they captured huge blowout playoff victories over Livingston and Houston Kashmere before running into the Lady Hawk buzzsaw.

Guard Naudia Watson led the Lady Mustangs with 11 points and had four rebounds. B’J ne Arvie notched nine points and six rebounds. Tashiana Williams had eight points while Keshaunia Winbush had six points and Gabby Tims hauled down six rebounds.

Guard Asia Wheeler had 10 points for the Lady Hawks while Molly Beavers had five points and seven rebounds and Delberta Guillory-Smith had five points and six boards. Jackson led H-J with nine rebounds.

The Lady Mustangs kept it close early in the first quarter, trailing 9-7. However, Jackson took over and scored 10 straight points, including two three-pointers to ignite a 10-0 spurt as the Lady Hawks led 19-7 by the end of the first period. H-J forced the Lady Mustangs into 13 turnovers in the first quarter and 30 for the game.

The Lady Hawks built a 39-19 edge by halftime as Jackson drilled four three-point missiles in the second quarter.

H-J outscored WO-S 14-8 in the third quarter to lead 53-27 heading to the fourth quarter.

The Lady Mustangs continued to battle, outscoring the Lady Hawks 14-10 in the last eight minutes.

H-J finished with a 30-28 rebounding edge. The Lady Hawks finished with 20 turnovers.

Both teams struggled from the free-throw line. The Lady Mustangs converted just 13-of-31 of their foul shots while H-J was just 9-of-18.

The Lady Hawks now move on the 4A Region III semifinals Friday against either Gatesville or Rusk.