LONGVIEW — Move over Jeremy Lin, you have company.
It’s called Lindsanity.
Down and on the way out in the first half, Lindale stormed back in relentless fashion to tie the game at the break. The No. 18 Lady Eagles then pulled away in the second half to beat Mount Vernon, 68-56, in a Class 3A girls area basketball playoff Friday night at Spring Hill High School.
“The girls have kind of taken over,” said Lindale interim coach Rene’ Greenhill, who’s guiding the team in place of suspended head coach Greg Strawn. “I think they felt like they could do it.”
Boy, did they.
In front if a packed audience, Lindale overcame a 16-point deficit in the final six minutes of the second quarter to send the game into the break at 31-31. With the momentum completely shifted, the Lady Eagles outscored the Lady Tigers 20-11 in the third to go into the final frame up 49-40.
Even though Mount Vernon closed the gap to three points in the fourth, Lindale had long ago taken control of the game and wasn’t going to let it slip away. And because of that, the Lady Eagles (24-9) will advance to meet Pittsburg in the third round next week. Pittsburg defeated Rains, 36-24, Friday in Hawkins.
Mount Vernon, which finished second in its district behind fourth-ranked Liberty-Eylau, completed the season with a 27-9 record.
Lindale’s sophomore towers proved unstoppable, as 6-1 Zhenelle Geathers 6-2 Natasha Malone finished with 16 points each. Most of the baskets came on layups and putbacks, but Geathers also drained a pair of 3-pointers.
Another key to victory was putting a stop to Lady Tigers Iesha McGill, who scored her 18th point on a fastbreak layup to go up 23-7 with 6:04 remaining in the second quarter. The senior standout, however, scored only once more in the half and once more in the second half to end the game with 23 points.
Mount Vernon senior Madison Thames added 22 points, while Lindale senior Kalyn Peters contributed 12 points.
The game was the second of a doubleheader at SHHS. Class 1A Division II top-ranked Saltillo eliminated Martinsville, 44-26, in the opener.
Class 3A Area Playoff
At Spring Hill High School
No. 18 Lindale 68, Mount Vernon 56
Lindale 7 24 20 17 — 68
Mount Vernon 16 15 11 14 — 56
LINDALE — Natasha Malone, 16; Neely Doss, 7; Zhenelle Geathers, 16; Hannah Malone, 8; Dimond Edmond, 9; Kalyn Peters, 12.
MOUNT VERNON — Iesha McGill, 23; Madison Thames, 22; Emily Floyd, 7; Juliegh Ragsdale, 4.
THREE-POINT GOALS — L: Geathers (2), Peters (2), Doss (2). MV: McGill (2), Thames (2).
RECORDS — Lindale 24-9; Mount Vernon 27-9.
NEXT UP — Lindale vs. Pittsburg, TBA; Mount Vernon, season complete.