A spark here or there wasn’t enough to ignite the Bryan girls basketball team as Tomball Memorial rode a trio of short runs to a 42-29 victory that spoiled the Lady Vikings’ District 14-6A home opener Tuesday night at Viking Gym.
A 6-0 run to open the second quarter broke a 7-7 stalemate and gave the Lady Wildcats (10-12, 2-2) enough room to hang on for a 19-14 lead at halftime.
Memorial then took advantage of several turnovers by Bryan (1-17, 0-3) to open the second half with a 6-0 run before the Lady Vikings’ best offensive burst of the game. But the Lady Wildcats came right back with a 7-0 run that mostly put the game out of reach at 35-22 going into the fourth quarter.
“As a coach I just have to do a better job of putting us in a position where we can get some easy baskets,” said Bryan coach Chris Jones, who is in his first season at the helm of the girls program after leading the boys for eight seasons. “If we get a few easy baskets and get ourselves going and get a little momentum, I think things can go a little different for us.”
Bryan had its moments in the game, including holding Memorial without a basket in the first quarter.
Reagan Garrison scored twice and three combined free throws by Dajasia Johnson and Aniyah Cigar helped the Lady Vikings take a 7-4 lead with 3:01 left in the first quarter. All seven of the Lady Wildcats’ points in the period came from the free-throw line, including three by Taylor Pedersen in the final two minutes to tie the score 7-7 going into the second quarter.
Pedersen then made three baskets in the first two minutes of the second quarter — as Bryan went 0-for-4 from the free-throw line — to build a 13-7 lead for the Lady Wildcats.
Free throws by Abreanna Mack and LynDeajia Hill kept Bryan from going scoreless through the first five minutes of the quarter, but by the time Jonnae King ended the shooting drought with a layup with 2:48 left, Memorial already had an 18-10 lead.
The Lady Vikings then lost seven turnovers over the first four minutes of the second half as the Lady Wildcats steadily extended their lead.
Bryan later found some life when Mack got a steal and a layup to cut Memorial’s lead to 25-16 with 3:22 left in the third quarter. After a pair of free throws by Memorial, Mack got another steal and a layup with 2:20 left, and Devonia Hailey added a bucket 21 seconds later to get Bryan within 27-20. Though both players missed their free throws on continuation opportunities, it was Bryan’s longest run of the game.
Memorial quickly answered with a basket by Pedersen that sparked an 8-2 run to end the quarter for a 13-point lead.
Baskets by Kennedy Kibbs, Mack, and Hailey in the fourth quarter weren’t enough for Bryan to mount a comeback as Memorial held on to win. Mack paced the Lady Vikings with eight points while Garrison had seven.
It’s been a tough start to the season for Bryan as it has lost its last seven since opening the year with a 42-40 victory at Brenham.
With just eight total games under their belt through the first month of the season, including three district games, the Lady Vikings haven’t had much game experience to work through offseason rust and a coaching transition. But Jones says he has seen improvement.
“We’re in the gym. We’re working hard, and we’re getting better,” Jones said. “Defensively we’ve really made some strides, and I think we’re rebounding the ball better. Most teams, the defense is usually ahead of the offense, and I think that’s where we are right now. We’ve got everybody buying in, and we’ve just got to work to get better every day.”
Bryan continues district play Friday at Langham Creek.
Tomball Memorial 42, Bryan 29
(Numbers after names indicate field goals made, free throws made-attempted, points.)
MEMORIAL (10-12, 2-2) — Olivia Dummer 1 1-2 4, Lauren Crawford 1 4-8 6, Katelyn Kabrich1 2-4 2, Katelyn Chomko 3 0-0 6, Reese Rosner 0 0-1 0, Taylor Pedersen 6 7-11 19, Samantha Diaz 1 0-0 2, Paige Crawford 0 1-2 1, Madyson McMunn 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 14 15-28 42.
BRYAN (1-7, 0-3) — Aniyah Cigar 0 2-2 2, Reagan Garrison 3 1-2 7, Jonnae King 1 2-2 4, Za’Miya Jones 0 0-2 0, Kennedy Gibbs 1 0-0 2, LynDeajia Hill 0 1-2 1, Dajasia Johnson 0 1-2 1, Abreanna Mack 3 2-5 8, Devonia Hailey 2 0-3 4. TOTALS: 10 9-20 29.
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