In a showdown between the only unbeaten teams in the district, the Nocona Lady Indians came out on top against rival Bowie on Friday.
The Lady Indians won 63-47, taking control in the second quarter and never letting the Lady Rabbits back into the game.
Nocona came out trying to press Bowie to start the game, but the Lady Rabbits were ready for it.
Bowie avoided catastrophe and ran its offense smoothly with five different players scoring. The Lady Rabbits have had issues scoring in some games this season, but were looking great in the first quarter.
The Lady Indians had a couple of early opportunities in transition with long outlet passes, but Bowie was mostly concerned with stopping Nocona’s leading scorer Averee Kleinhans in the half court.
The Lady Rabbits were playing a diamond and one defense with one player trailing Kleinhans wherever she was and the rest of the defense playing zone behind ready to try and stifle any drives to the basket.
This gave up some corner 3-point opportunities to other players and the Lady Indians took advantage with some early makes. Also Nocona really hurt Bowie on the offensive glass, getting multiple looks in certain possessions and also close shots at the rim.
The first quarter closed with both sides having done positive things and the Lady Rabbits up 16-15.
One adjustment Nocona made on defense was to stop pressing Bowie and just play man-to-man defense in the half court. The Lady Rabbits had a hard time trying to get to the basket and mostly elected to fire away with decent looks from 3-point range.
Unfortunately for Bowie, the shots were not going in in the second quarter. The Lady Rabbits, despite not having great height, are usually tenacious trying to track down offensive rebounds themselves to manufacture some offense.
Playing Nocona though, that left them open to full-court outlet passes. The Lady Indians also had the size advantage in their frontline with Karlee Brown, Stephanie Gutierrez and Kleinhans all being taller than anyone in Bowie’s starting five.
Nocona continued to use that to its advantage while its players also were making corner 3-pointers, with the team making three in the second quarter.
The Lady Rabbits made only one basket and scored four points in the quarter as they trailed 34-20 heading into halftime, all momentum from the good first quarter gone and Nocona comfortably in the lead.
The third quarter was more even though it looked like the Lady Indians were on their way to a route. Up 41-24 late in the quarter, it looked like Nocona’s lead might grow to 20 plus and eventually to 30 plus before the game was done.
Bowie got a jump on offense from its bench as Kaydee Jones made a 3-pointer and Season Eudey made a couple of heavily contested floaters. Starter Jasmine Jones, who had been doing her best to match up with Kleinhans on defense, continued to make the most of her shot opportunities in the post as she scored a couple of baskets to keep the Lady Rabbits offense from putting up another dud quarter.
The Lady Indians offense never slowed down their pace. Even with Bowie changing to a box instead of a diamond to not give up the corner shots, Nocona still was not slowed.
Kleinhans picked her spots and even with all of the attention from the defense she scored a couple of baskets including her only 3-pointer of the game.
The Lady Indians still led comfortably 47-31 heading into the fourth quarter. Nocona started to try and stall the game about midway through up 51-36.
This forced the Lady Rabbits to switch to their usual full-court trapping style defense so the Lady Indians could not just hold the ball for eternity.
This sped up the game and both team’s offenses took advantage. Bowie’s Jayci Logan thrived as the Lady Rabbits needed to score quickly as she scored nine of her team leading 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Nocona continued to score at its usual pace with Gutierrez scoring half of the teams 16 points in the fourth quarter to keep Bowie at bay despite the effort.
The Lady Indians would win with little drama and a score of 63-47.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.