ST. PETERSBURG — Dixie Hollins got a double dose of good news Tuesday night.
Not only did the Rebels take over sole possession of first place in Class 6A, District 10 with a 36-31 win over Mitchell, but senior guard Meagan Thomas broke the 2,000-point barrier for her career.
Thomas scored a game-high 15 points for the Rebels in a game that proved to be more defensive than expected. Dixie Hollins (9-3, 6-0) held Mitchell to its lowest point total of the season.
"It's huge for us because it puts us in first place in our district," Thomas said. "It gives us confidence as a team and it's going to make us work harder."
As for reaching 2,000 points, Thomas was much more low key. "That's a lot of points," she said.
The Rebels scored the first 12 points of the game, and the first five came on a Thomas layup and 3-pointer. When Thomas made a layup with 2:50 left in the quarter to make it 12-0, she reached the milestone.
"I think once she knew she got it, it was a relief and she could just play some ball," Dixie Hollins coach Kelley Jones said. "There's no more pressure, even though we didn't acknowledge it right away."
Mitchell (10-3, 3-1) did hold Thomas to eight points the rest of the game, but others stepped up to help the Rebels hold on to their lead. Kinza Khan hit a 3-pointer in the third to push the lead to 26-19.
Clinging to a slim 29-25 lead to start the fourth quarter, Haley Martz hit two long jump shots and buried a 3-pointer midway through the fourth to give Dixie Hollins a 36-25 lead.
Mitchell's full-court defense caused some late turnovers and layups. A Payton Murchie layup with 51 seconds left cut the lead to 36-31. But Dixie Hollins managed to keep the ball away from Mitchell the rest of the game to secure the win.
"(Thomas) struggled in the second half but they had some other girls step up," Mitchell coach Jacob Tavo said. "They just kept that edge that they had and we couldn't get back in it."
Aside from Thomas, Martz chipped in with 10 points and Khan added seven. Regan Petika led Mitchell with 11 points.