• Centennial’s Marissa Thompson goes after a ball during Tuesday’s District 9-5A match against Granbury. The Lady Spartans fell to the Lady Pirates, 3-1, to drop into a second place tie with Cleburne..  BURLESON STAR/CHRIS JASO

Lady Spartans come up short in showdown with Granbury

In a meeting of undefeated District 9-5A volleyball teams, Centennial leapt out fast stunning Granbury Tuesday night with a 25-16 win in the first set.

But the night went to Granbury as the Lady Pirates won the next three sets, 25-17, 25-17, 25-18, to stay perfect in 9-5A.

Centennial (17-15, 5-1) dropped into a tie for second place with Cleburne. The Lady Spartans host Cleburne Friday night to end the first half of district play. Centennial hosts Everman Tuesday night.

Behind the play of senior middle blockers Laken Cash and Marissa Montgomery, Centennial took the first set. Lady Spartans coach Jessica Ransom said her team stuck to its game plan in the first set.

In the next three sets, Granbury made it tough for the Lady Spartans to execute their plan.

Midway through the second set, something clicked for Granbury.

Trailing, 15-9, the Lady Pirates reeled off 11 consecutive points to take a 20-15 lead. Centennial closed to within 20-17 but could get no closer.

“After that first set, things kind of fell apart from then on out,” Ransom said. “We just started making more errors and Granbury started playing a lot better. We tried to fight back but we could never work our way out of the hole we had dug.”

The Lady Pirates (25-14, 6-0) turned to their biggest gun senior Amber Strange, who had 15 kills in the last three sets. When she wasn’t on the front,

Strange was causing trouble on the back row turning in several service runs.

“They have a lot of offensive weapons,” Ransom said. “Granbury stepped it up and played really well. It was just one thing after another. They just wanted it more than we did.”

Ransom said she and her staff would be able to use the loss as a teachable moment that will help her squad prepare for Friday’s match with Cleburne.

Cash, who had the task of slowing Strange at the net, drew praise from Ransom for her defense and offense.

Last Friday, Centennial defeated Crowley, 25-19, 25-15, 25-14, in 9-5A play.

Thompson led the squad with 13 kills. Cash had four solo blocks and two combo blocks while Carrissa Pauda and Haley Kimberling each had two solo blocks. Kara Moretz finished with 16 assists and three aces. Jeanette McGrath had 13 digs.

“It was a good win for us and we used it to fine tune some things,” Ransom said.

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Centennial’s Marissa Thompson goes after a ball during Tuesday’s District 9-5A match against Granbury. The Lady Spartans fell to the Lady Pirates, 3-1, to drop into a second place tie with Cleburne..  BURLESON STAR/CHRIS JASO