CANADIAN — The Stuart Lady Hornets started five girls with at least a year’s worth of varsity experience apiece. The Canadian Lady Cougars started just one player with prior varsity experience.
That’s the difference between scoring 77 points and scoring 31.
The Lady Hornets got more than 20 points from both Kayla Smith and Emilee Beck, plus 11 points from both McKay Barton and Megan Jernigen, leading to a dominant 77-31 win against the Lady Cougars on Tuesday at Darrell James Gymnasium in Canadian.
“Coming back from Christmas break, there are the jitters,” Stuart coach Melinda Dobson said. “They just settled down.
“They run the 2-3 zone (defense), so you’re going to have two wings open.”
Already up 18-9 after the first quarter, Stuart pushed its lead into double digits with a 12-4 second. A steal lead to layup by Chasity Garvin, then Smith knocked down one of her seven 3-pointers to push the lead to 23-9.
Two free throws from Canadian forward Tiersten Fairchilds pulled the game to within 12, but Beck then put back an offensive rebound. Fairchilds scored a layup, but a steal led to two free throws from Smith, then Beck found Garvin on a fastbreak for a layup and a 29-13 lead.
Beck finished the second with a jump shot off a pass from Kylie Jernigen. Beck finished with a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and also recorded four assists and four steals.
“I was pushing the ball, and I was making it go harder,” Beck said. “And then I’d step back and I’d push even harder and it just wouldn’t go in.
“It was in my release-point, and I was thinking I just had to let it go. During halftime I thought about it on the bench, and I made an adjustment.”
The Lady Hornets’ offense seemed to sputter a little in the first half, but in the third quarter the Lady Hornets caught fire. Stuart’s first five baskets in the third were 3-pointers, and the Lady Hornets went on to sink six 3-points and 10 total baskets in the third.