Instead they hit a roadblock in the form of the John Tyler Lady Lions in the opening round.
Using a late-game surge to pull away from Lufkin, the Lady Lions took a surprising 46-39 win in Class 6A Region II Bi-District playoff action in Jacksonville Monday night.
The loss was a surprising one for the Lady Panthers, who took a 70-49 win over the John Tyler Lady Lions in Tyler earlier this season.
This time around, a determined John Tyler team was too much for Lufkin.
John Tyler led for much of the night as it held an 18-13 advantage after a quarter before hanging on to a 24-22 lead at halftime.
The Lady Lions led 34-30 after three quarters. Lufkin pulled ahead 36-35 in the closing minutes before John Tyler closed the game on an 11-3 run, ending the Lady Panthers’ season.
John Tyler advanced to the area round of the playoffs where it will meet the Lakeview Centennial/Richardson winner.