The Bowie Lady Rabbits lost their play-in game on Monday against Holliday.
The Lady Eagles won the third game between the teams 71-63 to secure the second seed in the district while Bowie now has the third seed.
With surprises out the window after two games played, with the Lady Rabbits winning the first game 49-48 at home before losing at Holliday 66-56, it came down to which team executed the best.
Bowie came in undersized at almost every position against the Lady Eagles starting five and knew keeping Holliday from scoring in the paint and dominating the offensive glass was key to victory.
Creating havoc with the full-court press to score off turnovers and making open shots from the perimeter would be critical as well.
The first quarter was a scoring blur for both teams. The Lady Rabbits press did its job of speeding up the game, but it was a double-edged sword.
The Lady Eagles did a good job of breaking through and capitalizing on scoring before the defense could get back.
Bowie did a good job of keeping up, making four 3-pointers in the quarter and never letting Holliday get too comfortable. The Lady Rabbits trailed 20-18 heading into the second quarter.
Bowie went away from its press defense and the pace grinded to a halt for both teams playing mostly in the half court. Despite the Lady Eagles size advantage and the team trying to use it by shooting around the basket, the Lady Rabbits did their best to make every basket tough.
On the other side of the court, Bowie’s offense seemed to dry up as well, with the team making only one field goal in the second quarter. With the physical nature of the game combined with the slow pace, the teams combined to score only 13 points after scoring 38 in the first quarter.
The Lady Rabbits still trailed at halftime, but was down only one basket 27-24.
Things picked up again on both sides in the third quarter. Bowie was more successful driving to the basket, picking up some more free throw attempts after drawing only four in the first half.
The Lady Rabbits decided to employ the press defense as a surprise a couple of times during the quarter, which worked a bit better when Holliday did not see it coming.
The Lady Eagles still kept their lead though, getting a big boost from post player Bree Zellers, who scored 12 of her team’s 19 points in the quarter.
At one point it looked like Holliday was poised to pull away by double-digits, but Bowie cut the lead down to 46-39 heading into the fourth and final quarter.
The first two minutes saw the Lady Eagles extend their lead to double-digits 52-42. The Lady Rabbits cut the lead all the way to 56-52 in the next three minutes thanks to forcing some turnovers with the press back on.
From there Holliday did a better job of running the clock and making free throws to go up 64-52 with less than two minutes to play. Two quick baskets, including one off a turnover thanks to the press, cut the lead to 64-57 with 1:36 left to play.
Another sequence like that would make it a one basket game if Bowie could get some stops.
Unfortunately, Holliday was a bit more careful with the ball and forced the Lady Rabbits to send them to the free throw line. The team made enough down the stretch to hold off the Bowie charge as Holliday won 71-63.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.