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Van Alstyne Falls to No. 2 Sunnyvale

Leader Photo by Griff Servati, vaalltheway.com  Ashley Burts
Leader Photo by Griff Servati, vaalltheway.com Ashley Burts
Leader Photo by Griff Servati, vaalltheway.com  Carleigh Simmons
Leader Photo by Griff Servati, vaalltheway.com Carleigh Simmons

The Sunnyvale Lady Raiders are ranked as the state’s number one, class 2A girls basketball team by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, ahead of the Brock Lady Eagles who are the defending state champs.

The Van Alstyne Lady Panthers have played the Lady Raiders closer than any other team on their schedule but that is little solace to Van Alstyne coach Tim Bryant or Lady Panther players.

Sunnyvale beat the cold-shooting Lady Panthers, 48-25 on Jan. 24 at Van Alstyne to continue its unbeaten march through the District 12-2A season.

Raigan Servati scored on an eight-foot jumper late in the first quarter, then drained a 3-pointer in the second period, but that was most of the Van Alstyne offense in the opening half.

Two blocks by Molly Mayes and a block and steal by Ashley Burts, were highlight plays on the defensive end. However, the Lady Raiders jumped out to a 29-7 start in the contest.

For the final 16 minutes, Sunnyvale “won” 19-18 as the game Lady Panthers would not give up without a battle.

Two baskets by Emma Moreno and a difficult make from the left baseline by Burts keyed a 6-0 start for Van Alstyne in the third quarter.

Bryanna Hernandez dropped in a pair of free throws to open the fourth quarter scoring, then drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc as Van Alstyne got off to a positive start. Hernandez finished with nine points and three steals for the Lady Panthers.

A basket by Carleigh Simmons was followed by a Hernandez steal and bucket to cut into the Lady Raiders’ lead. Two free throw makes by Maddie Horn and 1-of-2 from the charity stripe by Burts closed out the scoring for Van Alstyne.

Sunnyvale 8 21 9-10 — 48

Van Alstyne 2 5 6-12 — 25

VA: Bryanna Hernandez 9, Raigan Servati 5, Emma Moreno 4, Ashley Burts 3, Carleigh Simmons 2, Maddie Horn 2.

Farmersville 49, Van Alstyne 30

The Van Alstyne Lady Panthers staged a gritty, fourth-quarter comeback in Farmersville on Jan. 28, but they could not finish as the Lady Farmers get the 49-30 win.

The visitors faced a tremendous challenge after Farmersville outscored them 40-12 in the first half. The Lady Panthers refused to give up, especially in the fourth quarter, as they outscored Farmersville 12-3 in the final eight minutes of the contest.

Ashley Burts had her best scoring night of the district season, dropping in 11 points for the Lady Panthers.

Trailing 46-18 going into the final period, Emma Moreno started the scoring with 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. A basket by Maddie Horn, who finished with six points, and a Burts’ steal kept the offense rolling.

Molly Mayes split on two tries from the free-throw line before Burts scored on back-to-back possessions. A bucket by Bailey Allen closed out the effort for the Lady Panthers.

On the record, it’s another loss, but you have to give some props to these young players for their determination.

The Lady Panthers, 3-8 in District 12-2A play, will close out the season Friday night in Leonard.

Van Alstyne 7 5 6 12 — 30

Farmersville 14 26 6 3 — 49

VA:(12-16)(3-8) Ashley Burts 11, Maddie Horn 6, Emma Moreno 5, Raigan Servati 3, Bailey Allen 2, Allison Hensley 2, Molly Mayes 1.

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