“We have to work on handling the ball, which we said is going to be our biggest issue this year,” McAlester coach April Burns said. “We have to handle the ball and we have to learn how to control it.”
McAlester might’ve kept the game closer with better ball-handling, but an inability to score left the home team frustrated. McAlester forwards such as McLain and Shattee Robinson frequently got open, but they just couldn’t sink their shots.
“In the paint, we were 5-for-32,” Burns said.
“Whenever we’re not hitting the layups, everybody’s spirits get crushed pretty quickly. We’re getting the shots we want, we’re getting our shot right in the paint where we want to get it. We just have to put the ball in the hole.”
McLain led McAlester with 12 points. Not a starter last year but given that honor Tuesday, McLain put herself in the right offensive positions all night long but took too many off-balance shots.
Once McLain settles into her role and improves her shooting form, Burns said, the scoring numbers should go up.
McAlester also got 11 points from Calistro, who sank two 3-pointers. Her second made it 52-27 Hugo in the fourth, a quarter in which McAlester outscored Hugo, 17-14.
Taylor Compton, Maddie McGowan, McLain, and Baylee Dawkins all scored for McAlester in the fourth.
“I was proud of our girls that they didn’t just lie down and die,” Burns said. “They could’ve easily done that, but they did not. They continued to work hard, (but) too much of a hole. Too much of a hole in the second quarter.”
Tuesday’s game featured a back-and-forth first quarter in which both teams held leads. Tarkington put back an offensive rebound to put Hugo up 2-0, but McLain tied it with a layup off a pass from Robinson.