DUMAS — Star City survived a possible trip-up game in the first round of the Class 4A Regional Tournament in Dumas Tuesday night with a 44-32 win over Bauxite.

DUMAS — Star City survived a possible trip-up game in the first round of the Class 4A Regional Tournament in Dumas Tuesday night with a 44-32 win over Bauxite.

More importantly, the Ladydogs punched their ticket to the 4A State Tournament.

No. 1 seed Star City, which improved to 28-1, led by just four at the half, clinging to a 23-19 advantage over the fourth-seeded Lady Miners. But the Ladydogs turned up the defensive pressure in the third period and held a 35-21 margin entering the final stanza.

Bauxite connected only once from three-point range, a problem for a team that averages 18 three-point shots per outing.

“I thought our defense won that ballgame for us,” Star City coach Becky Brown said. “We were willing to give the two but not the three. We felt like we could play with them two for two. That was the gameplan. We didn’t want to give up the three.”

After Bauxite took advantage of the inside game Brown was willing to surrender with backdoor cuts to the basket in the first half, fatigue set in for the Lady Miners in the second. Bauxite’s defensive pressure that kept the Lady Miners in the game in the first half turned into reaching fouls in the third period as the Ladydogs shot eight free throws during a 12-0 run that created the separation.

“The third period was a good period for us,” Brown said. “The kids had been in enough tough games early in the year. And they did what they had to do to build that lead up. The pressure defense led into some fast break points and I think it got into their legs a little bit trying to keep up with us running the floor.”

Bauxite coach Josh Harrison said the pressure was a direct hit on the Lady Miners.

“We knew playing the first seed was going to be an uphill climb,” Harrison said. “Their relentless pressure is tough on us. We have four sophomores that we rotate in and out and they learned really quick that they are going to have to get better and stronger at handling pressure. I think we got fatigued working so hard against them. They push you into doing things that make you uncomfortbale.”

Olydia Thornton led Star City with 11 points. Laurin Pooree finised with 10.

Mary Crow’s 14 points led the Lady Niners which ended the season 19-12.

Star City advances to play the winner of today’s Malvern/Hamburg game at 7 p.m. Friday in Dumas.