The Arlington Lady Cougars’ mixture of size and experience proved to be too much for the Midlothian Lady Panthers.
Ranked tenth in the state, the Lady Cougars (13-5, 3-0) ended the first quarter with a 9-2 lead and never looked back as they handed the Midlothian Lady Panthers (8-9, 0-2) its second consecutive district loss.
The Lady Cougars demonstrated its size and experience by playing a physical brand of basketball throughout a 50-25 victory over the Lady Panthers Tuesday night in Midlothian.
“We played well in the first half,” Head Coach Stephanie Upshaw said. “However, we let their (Lady Cougars’) pressure defense get to us in the second half.”
The Lady Cougars tenacious and physical defense led to a 12-0 third quarter run that end with a 39-16 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Five different players scored for the Lady Cougars during the decisive quarter, while the Lady Panthers countered with a lone basket from junior guard Rachael Walters (2 points).
While defense and speed determined the final outcome, it was the Lady Cougars frontcourt that set the physical tone from the start. Junior posts 6’1 Amber Doolittle and 5’11 Alex Adekunie proved to be too much for the young Midlothian frontcourt to handle.
Doolittle finished with a game-high 12 points by dominating inside the paint with offensive rebounds and layups. She also held the Lady Panthers’ sophomore post Natalie Ruud to two points. Going into the game, Ruud led her team in scoring by averaging 13.4 points a game.
“They put a lot of pressure on her and it got to her,” Coach Upshaw said. “She’s just a sophomore but she needs to figure out how to get through games like tonight.”
With her scoring inactive most of the night, Ruud contributed in the passing game with three assists and on the boards with five rebounds.
The scoring for the Lady Panthers’ was then left up to sophomore guard Cameron Hartson (9 points) who was all over the court trying to keep her team in the game.
Hartson started the game with back-to-back defensive rebounds and physical play on the defense end frustrating the Lady Cougars backcourt.
“She’s is always going 100 miles per hour on the court,” Head Coach Stephanie Upshaw said about Hartson’s effort. “She had a good game tonight.”
During the second quarter, Hartson found her rhythm offensively scoring four points. Senior post Lauren Ramsey (6 points) also added four points to try to cut the lead but it wasn’t enough. The Lady Cougars would counter with a basket of its own every time the Lady Panthers started to gather momentum.
With the score 24-14 at halftime, Coach Upshaw believed Upshaw believed her team needed a solid third quarter to capture its first district win but it never came.
“In the third quarter, we missed easy shots,” Coach Upshaw said. “We also had too many turnovers to over come. You can’t win when you have that many turnovers.”
The planned halftime adjustments never came to fruition as the Lady Cougars extend its winning streak in district to three games by out scoring the Lady Panthers 26-11 in the second half.
The Lady Panthers will try to regroup and capture its first district victory against the Ennis Lady Lions Friday night in Ennis.
“We will probably take a look at what Ennis runs,” Coach Upshaw said. “We will work on our defense, as well. We’ve played better than we have tonight this season.”
Arl. Seguin 9 15 15 11 - 50
Midlothian 2 12 2 9 - 25
ASGN: Amber Doolittle 14, Recca Trice 11, Briana Johnson 6, Alex Adekunie 6, Veronica Azubuike 5, Krista Summerville 4, Shameka Ethley 2, Kevin Phipps 2.
Midlothian: Cameron Hartson 9, Lauren Ramsey 6, Meghan Morrow 4, Rachael Walters 2, Nicole Hulshouser 2, Natalie Ruud 2.
Friday night, the Lady Panthers fell to Ennis 64-56 on the road. Scoring for Midlothian were Ruud (19), Ramsey (9), Miller (8), Walters (7), Daugherty (5), Hartson (4), Ross (2) and Byrom (2).
E-mail Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org