For 20 of the 32 minutes in Monday’s Region II-1A semifinal game against Rankin, the youthful Hermleigh Lady Cardinals looked poised to knock off the No. 12 Lady Devils and continue their unlikely playoff run yet another round.
But leading 32-20 at the midway point of the third quarter, the Lady Cards’ youth got the better of them.
Led by seniors Emily Bunger, Jelcie Tubbs and Neveah Cura, Rankin closed the third quarter on a 7-2 run to pull back within seven by the start of the fourth , and Hermleigh could never stop the bleeding after that. The Lady Devils’ game-closing surge eventually reached 29-4 as RHS turned a 12-point deficit into a 49-36 win at Wylie’s Bulldog Gym.