HOLDEN – With Holden making a late run, the Midland Lady Rebels had to go to a place that hasn’t been exactly kind to them in recent history - the free throw line.
But on Monday, the charity stripe proved to be the Lady Rebels’ friend.
Midland, the No. 20 seed in the Class B playoffs, connected on 16 of 22 fourth-quarter free throws and pulled away for a 61-45 upset victory over No. 13 Holden.
The Lady Rebels will play host to league-rival Hathaway Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in a regional playoff contest.
Brooke Comeaux led the free-throw frenzy by going 10-for-10 from the stripe in the final eight minutes.
“Brooke hit free throw after free throw,” said Midland Coach Joanna Tate. “In that long stretch in the fourth quarter when we needed the ball to go in the hole, Brooke stepped up.”
Midland led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter before Holden cut the advantage to three early in the fourth.
“I knew they were going to make a run,” said Tate. “I’m just glad we were able to build the lead before they did.
“But we never really lost our composure. We kept our cool and we were able to hold it together.”
Kristen Breaux scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the first quarter to help the Lady Rebels build a 23-12 advantage.
Midland extended its lead to 32-20 in the second quarter behind nine points from Breaux and eight from Katie Woods.
Holden cut the lead to 10 (43-33) at the end of the fourth and got within three early in the fourth before Woods knocked down a jumper to thwart the rally.
From there, the Rebels got 16 points at the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Comeaux followed Breaux with 16 points, Woods scored 15 and Bethany LeJeune added seven. Melody Hebert and Elizabeth Istre rounded out the scoring with one point each.
In other action, Iota, Class 2A’s No. 19 seed, fell to No. 14 Mansfield, 46-29.
Mansfield took a 13-9 edge in the first half and outscored the Lady Dogs 33-20 in the final 16 minutes.
Iota finished the season with a record of 13-18.
Brittany Johnson and Jillian Boone led Iota with 10 points each and Mallory Faul scored five. Taylor DeVille and Madison Smith each scored two points.
In Class C, Northside Christian came up just short as they dropped a 44-40 decision to New Living Word.
New Living Word rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and outscored the Lady Warriors 32-17 in the second half.
Madeline Gatte and Zoie Hanagriff led the Lady Warriors with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Natalie Hayes and Madisyn Clement each scored seven points and Brooke Stanford had five.