The Lake Dallas girls basketball team entered Friday’s District 8-5A matchup against Little Elm fresh off the best 96 hours of its season.
That stretch began Friday after the Lady Falcons erased a 15-point, second-half deficit to take down defending district champion The Colony, 58-56. Four days later, Lake Dallas carried that momentum into Tuesday’s rematch with current 8-5A front-runner Denton Braswell, and turned in perhaps its signature performance of the season thus far — besting the state-ranked Lady Bengals, 77-65.
“It was a whole world of emotions. The girls played hard and kept fighting the entire game,” said Jordan Davis, Lake Dallas head coach. “Beforehand, we talked about not having anything to lose, playing relaxed and looking to be the aggressor. I think we did a good job of that. It was a little crazy how it all transpired, but the girls put themselves in position to get the win and I’m so proud of them.”
The Lady Falcons dealt Braswell its first loss in district play, halting a run of seven consecutive victories by the Lady Bengals. That stretch included a 49-35 win over Lake Dallas on Jan. 3 — a game where the Lady Falcons battled foul trouble, turnovers and an early double-digit deficit.
On Tuesday’s rematch, the two sides were even after one frame, 10-10, before Lake Dallas erupted for a 26-point second quarter to seize a 36-32 halftime advantage — already eclipsing its scoring total from the initial matchup.
“That was huge, being able to stay close right there. Once you get down early, it can get in your head and get your spirits down,” Davis said. “We knew we had to come out with a good start. We were down against The Colony twice by 15 and came back, but we knew that would be really hard to do against Braswell.”
The Lady Falcons uncorked another 26-point quarter before the night was over, saving that ammunition for the homestretch where they pulled away for a double-digit victory.
“We knocked down some huge shots. We had five people in double figures and several who knocked down some key free throws,” Davis said. “(Sophomore) Bailey Broughton hit a 3-pointer in the corner with about 1:10 left that gave us a six-point lead. We took care of the ball, got rebounds and really fought and executed at the end.”
Leading the charge was senior Josephine Elliott with 18 points, while sophomore Jorja Elliott (17), senior Dorian Norris (14), Broughton (12) and freshman Shadiamond Wilson (10) also finished in double figures.
Those players chipped in for a zone-heavy defensive approach that flashed moments of brilliance in the third quarter of the January meeting but was fleshed out over the entirety of Tuesday’s rematch.
“We ran the zone in the first half and I believe they hit five threes. At halftime, I talked to the girls and asked them if they wanted to stick with it or try something different,” Davis said. “They felt like they knew what to do now and wanted to stick with it, and I think Braswell only hit one three in the second half. As a coach, when you can talk to your kids and have them know what adjustments to make, those teams are the best to coach.”
Improving to 8-1 with the win, edging Braswell for the top spot in 8-5A, the Lady Falcons continue 8-5A action at 5:45 p.m. Friday against Denton.
Lady Jaguars keep pace
Flower Mound and Irving MacArthur are on track to claim the top two seeds in 6-6A. With the two sides not scheduled to rematch until Feb. 11, the Lady Jaguars and Lady Cardinals remained gridlocked for first place in the district following a pair of lopsided victories on Tuesday.
While MacArthur polished off a 71-21 blowout of Irving, Flower Mound made short work of Irving Nimitz, 50-27, to improve to 9-1 in conference play.
The Lady Jaguars limited Nimitz to just five points in the first half, responding with 27 in an effort commandeered by seniors Makenzie Scott (14 points), Kayla Wallace (11) and junior Emily Curl (10).
Meanwhile, Lewisville snapped a two-game skid courtesy of a 41-33 victory over Coppell. Despite a strong first half by the Cowgirls, led by the duo of junior Chloe Hassman and sophomore India Howard (11 points apiece), the Lady Farmers gained separation behind a 16-8 third quarter to turn away Coppell. Junior Laila Lawrence led the charge with 13 points to help Lewisville improved to 7-3.
While the Lady Farmers appear headed for a third-place finish, the race for fourth place took on new life after Marcus scored a 49-43 upset win over Hebron. Led by 12 points from junior MJ Jefferson, the Lady Marauders pulled away from an otherwise nip-and-tuck affair after blanketing the Lady Hawks for a 13-5 advantage in the fourth quarter.
While Hebron remains in control of the No. 4 seed at 6-4, Marcus now sits just one game back at 5-5 following a split in the regular-season series.
The Colony bounces back
Although any prospects of a repeat 8-5A championship likely vanished with its 58-56 loss to Lake Dallas, resulting in a season sweep for the Lady Falcons, The Colony is still in position to seize the district’s No. 3 seed after exiting Tuesday’s ballgames with a 6-3 record courtesy of a 69-44 blowout of Denton.
Senior Jewel Spear responded with her highest-scoring performance in district play so far, pouring in 34 points to lead the Lady Cougars. The effort marked the fifth time in nine games that Spear, the reigning 8-5A MVP, has posted at least 30 points in district action.
Fellow senior Tamia Jones added 12 points and junior Aariyah Cotto chipped in 11, improving the club to 4-0 in conference play when at least three scorers hit double figures.