The scoring for McKinney North began with two simple free throws. No one could have guessed that would equal the amount of points Wylie East would score all quarter.
Due to some stingy defense and a knack for finding open players in the paint, the Lady Bulldogs' varsity basketball team easily defeated the struggling Raiders 76-37 in front of a sparse crowd at North on Tuesday night.
From the opening tipoff, North (15-11 overall, 5-3 in District 10-4A) used its distinct size advantage to force the Lady Raiders into consistent mistakes and turnovers. While Wylie East (5-19, 0-8) tried to keep North out of the painted area with some zone looks defensively, the Lady Bulldogs counteracted with some three-point daggers from leading scorer Alexis Mason, who finished the game with 19 points.
The game failed to pick up momentum in the first quarter due to the constant sounds of the referee's whistles. Both teams, with multiple fouls piling up, threatened to reach the bonus before the end of the quarter, which is something neither coach could have been thrilled about. However, with 4:47 left in the first quarter, Wylie East finally took their first timeout with the Lady Bulldogs leading 17-2. Nothing said in the timeout must have worked, because North would go on to finish the quarter on a 9-0 run and take a 26-2 advantage into the second quarter.
While Wylie East did show some spark in the second quarter, they didn’t hit double digits until 3:28 remained in the half. Emily Hartegan, who is sixth in the area in scoring at 19 points per game, was kept in check for most of the evening. She finished with only 15 points. McKinney North used its full bench for the remainder of the game, and saw 11 different players score at least two points. Mikaehla Connor walked away with 11 points, while Danielle Coleman and Dea Orana both had 8.
With a 41-14 lead at the break, the game was all but decided. But the Lady Bulldogs still executed their offense effectively and continued to attack the Lady Raiders down low in the post. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when McKinney North really took the foot off the gas petal, where Wylie East ultimately outscored them 10-9 in the final frame.
While the game provided a chance for the team to build some confidence going forward in the heart of the District 10-4A season, the Lady Bulldogs did pull into a tie at 5-3 for third with McKinney High. However, they must put this win behind them quickly and prepare for a must-win game Friday night on the road against Richardson Pearce (13-12, 3-5) who they defeated 68-29 in their first district meeting at McKinney North in December.
Game time is approximately 7:30 p.m. in Richardson.
Story by TSB sports writer Mike Bruu
Photo by TSB contributor Shelby Tauber
For more photos of this game, and others, check out our Glam Cam on the TSB home page.