Lone Oak’s Lady Buffs claimed their first bi-district girls basketball title since 1972 with a 46-31 victory over Queen City on Tuesday night.

“Thirty-four years, that’s huge,” said Lone Oak coach Jessica Douglas. “The girls are on a high. We’re looking forward to playing at UT-Tyler.”

The 21-10 Lady Buffs will advance to the area round of the Class 2A playoffs to face No. 16 state-ranked Central Heights of Nacogdoches at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at the University of Texas at Tyler. Central Heights earned a first-round bye in the playoffs after winning the District 20-A title.

Lone Oak shared the 17-2A title with Quitman and went into the playoffs as the second seed after losing a playoff with the Lady Bulldogs. Lone Oak bounced back from that loss to take care of Queen City, which was third in 18-2A.

Lone Oak, which trailed 11-10 after one quarter, used a tenacious defense to limit Queen City to single digits in each of the final three quarters.

“The second half our girls cracked down on defense and pretty much shut them down,” said Douglas. “We kind of got our offense going. That’s kind of what helped.”

Natalie Jenkins pumped in 12 points to lead Lone Oak, while Sarah Gantt and Heather Hoelting chipped in eight points each. Whitney Wallace also tossed in seven points for the Lady Buffs and blocked two shots. Taylor Hager, who added five points, led Lone Oak with 11 rebounds and Gantt pulled in eight boards. Shaely Ketchum added four points for Lone Oak and Elizabeth Feagin chipped in two.

Queen City, which finished at 18-13, picked up 12 points from Kenyette Grundy to go with seven from Brittany Gaston.

No other Queen City player scored more than three points.

Douglas said Lone Oak’s next opponent, Central Heights, shoots well from the outside.

“They like to shoot the three,” she said. “They don’t have too much of an inside game. We should be able to outrebound them on both ends.”

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