GAINESVILLE — The Lady Pirates keep turning back the clock as they’ve hit milestones over the past two seasons, and the one they were able to reach on Tuesday night spanned a couple of generations.
It had been a while since Collinsville had picked up a playoff victory. You have to go all the way back to the powerhouse teams of the mid-to-late 50s to find the last time the Lady Pirates were advancing in the postseason like they did with an 80-59 victory over Alvord in a Class 2A Region II bi-district contest at Gainesville.
“That’s amazing. It’s been over 60 years,” Collinsville head coach Daniel Johnson said. “It’s special. It’s phenomenal.”
Collinsville (30-1) will face Quanah, which had a 52-28 victory over Meridian, in the area round at 6 p.m. on Friday at Henrietta.
Carrie Johnson made five three-pointers and finished with 29 points, Brittney Fields scored 27 points, Gracie Cavin chipped in eight points and Piper Dunn totaled six points for Collinsville.
Tawni Hamilton scored 15 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter while Taylor Maag added 10 points and Madi Clark finished with nine points for Alvord (14-17).
Reaching the 1958 state championship game was the last time Collinsville had earned a playoff win. Last year the Lady Pirates broke a 21-year playoff drought and won a district crown for the first time in 36 seasons but were nipped by Poolville, 48-46, in the bi-district round.
“We focused on it big time,” Johnson said. “We were so young last year, a bunch of sophomores and a junior with a couple freshmen. And they had already done so many things for the first time last year. We told them about taking the next step.”
This time around there was little drama in starting the postseason as Collinsville jumped out an early advantage, leading by as many as 31 in the third quarter, against a team it beat, 79-62, in the season-opener.
“It was difficult to look at the tape because we had only one practice in,” Johnson said. “But they were full-court man then and full-court man tonight so there were some of the same things. We thought we have the better match-ups offensively.”
Collinsville has yet to lose to a Texas team this season. The Lady Pirates’ only defeat came against Sulphur (Okla.), 74-45, at the Madill (Okla.) Tournament during the first week of December. It carries a 22-game winning streak into the second round.
The final score looked closer than it was as Alvord finished the game on a 12-4 run and had almost half its points — 28 — in the final eight minutes.
Johnson almost single-handedly put the Lady Bulldogs away as Collinsville had a 15-0 run in the middle of the third quarter that turned a 41-26 lead into a 31-point margin. She hit a pair of three-pointers and scored at the basket twice during the four-minute span.
Alvord got as close as 14 points — 32-18 — with 2:26 remaining in the first half. It could have been a smaller deficit but the Lady Bulldogs were just 6-of-16 at the free-throw line through two quarters and Collinsville eventually went into the break up 39-22 and set to push the lead even further.
An early 9-0 run gave the Lady Pirates a 13-2 advantage as Alvord went scoreless for nearly two and a half minutes and without a basket for more than three.
Fields spurred the surge with a pair of baskets and Johnson capped it with a three-pointer.
Maag finally hit a shot for the Lady Bulldogs but Alvord scored just two points the rest of the first quarter as Collinsville continued to pad its lead.
The Lady Pirates forced 11 turnovers in the frame, including one that led to a Johnson layup right before the buzzer and a 23-7 lead. That was preceded by five points from Dunn, who converted a three-point play and hit a jumper.
“First quarter we came out feeling right and feeling good,” Johnson said. “That’s our game — we get a lot of steals, shoot threes and play a fast-paced game. We try to maximize the plus-minus on possessions.”