Guyer head coach Aimee Kilgore celebrates during the game against Flower Mound Marcus on Monday, Feb. 11 at Denton High School in Denton, Texas.

Guyer coach Aimee Kilgore admitted she was a bit nervous in the moments prior to Monday night’s bi-district playoff game against Flower Mound Marcus. The Lady Wildcats were playing in their first playoff game since 2016 and knew Marcus had the talent to put up a fight.

Regardless, Guyer used one of its most impressive defensive performances of the season to keep the Lady Mauraders from settling into a rhythm and pulled away in the third quarter for their first playoff win since 2014.

The Lady Wildcats knocked off Marcus 54-34 to secure a berth in the area round of the playoffs, where they’ll meet No. 7 Dallas Skyline, which knocked off Mansfield Summit 75-56 Tuesday night.

“I can’t even put into words how proud I am of them,” Kilgore said. “Nothing deterred them from what they wanted to do. I’m just so ecstatic; our defense was amazing.”

Guyer struggled to knock down open shots through most of the first quarter and went 2-of-8 from the free-throw line, but the Lady Wildcats’ play on defense created ample scoring opportunities early.

Guyer opened the game in a full-court press and set the tone from the get-go, using its speed and length in the backcourt to force Marcus out of its comfort zone.

Freshman Alisa Williams began to catch fire in the second quarter, scoring seven straight points to end the frame while Guyer held Marcus to four points in the second to take a 12-point lead into the break.

The Lady Wildcats took things to another level in the third by opening the quarter on a 13-0 run, blowing the game wide open and never turning back.

“This was so important to me,” senior Tarleton State signee Callie Boyles said. “I was not ready to leave these girls yet, and I think they all kind of understood that. This was just a great overall team win for us.”

Williams finished with a team-high 16 points for Guyer, and Boyles and sophomore Bella Earle added 10 points apiece. Junior Jade Thompson added nine points for the Lady Wildcats. Marcus sophomore Evie Goetz scored a game-high 20 points, but Guyer held the rest of the lineup completely in check as no other player had more than five points.

The Lady Wildcats will look to carry their strong defensive play into the next round against Skyline. The Lady Raiders used a 31-11 run in the fourth quarter of their first round game to keep their season alive.

“The most important thing is for us to control the things we can control,” Kilgore said. “We have to come out with effort, energy and intensity and just know what our game plan is.”

Guyer 54, Flower Mound Marcus 34

Flower Mound Marcus 6 4 7 17 — 34

Guyer 13 9 19 13 — 54

Flower Mound Marcus — Davis 5, Goetz 20, Roden 5, Fredrick 2, Sirange 2.

Guyer — Bella Earle 10, Megan Freeze 3, Mason 1, Callie Boyles 10, Alisa Williams 16, Morgan Helgesen 5, Jade Thompson 9.

BRADY KEANE can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @BradyKeane.

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