The first few minutes of their game were touch and go, but after a timely timeout, the Muenster Lady Hornets righted the ship and blew the doors off their matchup against Lindsay on Friday, Jan. 8.
Muenster led 10-8, but finished the first quarter up 24-8 on the way to a 64-26 victory to move to 18-0 on the season and 5-0 in district play.
Head coach Chris Hightower said after the team settled in defensively, the rest of the game went smoothly.
“We were up 10-3 pretty quick and they answered to make it 10-8 with like four or five minutes left in the first quarter,” Hightower said. “We were scoring the way we needed to but we weren’t making any stops. We really got things together and we did a good job of extending quickly. I was pretty proud coming out of the timeout.”
Overall, Hightower said his team played really well.
Annie Anderle led all scorers with 31 points, including 20 in the first half while Martie McCoy added 19 points and 15 of those came in the first half.
“Martie and Annie scored in pretty much every way possible,” Hightower said. “Annie hit seven 3s and Martie was able to get some things out of the offense that she hadn’t lately. She was able to get some pull-up jumpers and some drives to the rim. I thought we really executed our sets really, really well. Defensively, we did really good so overall it was a really solid, solid effort from our team.”
Muenster held Lindsay to just 10 points in the second half and Hightower said he was pleased that his team stayed mentally engaged.
“We’re not necessarily playing Lindsay or Era or whoever, we’re getting prepared for whoever it may be in the future whether it be a Sam Rayburn, a Cisco, or a Lipan,” Hightower said. “We’re constantly trying to find ways to improve and make ourselves better and challenge ourselves. When a team goes on a tiny run, we want to figure out how to remedy that. That’s how we approach each game.”
Tuesday, Jan. 12, will the final game in the first half of district play and a battle of the Lady Hornets as Muenster will travel to Era.
This game doesn’t have the usual weight it has had the past few seasons as the majority of Era’s team graduated.
But Hightower knows that head coach Don Neu will have his team ready.
“Coach Neu is in the situation this year that I’ll be in next year having lost his entire team to graduation, but the guy has been around a long time and he knows what he’s doing,” Hightower said. “Those kids know what to expect from him. He’s one of the best schemers and he knows how to make a game plan. I expect them to know what we do and to have a game plan coming in.”
Hightower also anticipates half-court pressure from Era and while Era may have tried to play a track-meet style game in the past, he said he thinks Era may try to slow it down this time around.
“They’ll force us to make good shots and try to just hold us to one shot,” Hightower said. “They’ve been playing better and you can see on film that they are picking up confidence. Their best player Kiara Franklin is such a strong player physically and she’s making things happen. They’ve got to feel good about what they’ve accomplished with what they lost from last year.”
If Era can pull off the upset of the No. 1 team in Class 2A, it will be in a three-way tie with Muenster and Alvord for the district title with the second half of district to go.
So Hightower knows this is an important bout.
“It’s big,” Hightower said. “Going through the first half of district undefeated sets that tone. We just beat Alvord and you don’t want to make that win obsolete by losing to Era. It’s good to be headed into the second round with a full head of steam. We just need to keep with the consistency we’ve had.”