Jorja Elliott

Lake Dallas’ Jorja Elliott shoots the ball over the hand of a Boswell defender during a Class 5A regional quarterfinal.

CORINTH – Lake Dallas head girls basketball coach Jordan Davis wasn’t sure what to expect from junior point guard Mackenzie Buss when she was cleared to resume basketball activities in April following an ACL injury that sidelined her for all of last season.

Buss was with the Lady Falcons during the summer and preseason but those workout sessions were limited to skill drills due to limitations that were laid out by the University Interscholastic League in association with the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Buss has been nothing but impressive in the three games that she’s played this season.

The Lake Dallas junior poured in a game-high 21 points in a 51-36 non-district victory against Flower Mound on Monday. Buss has scored 51 points through the team’s first three games.

“This is the first time I'm really seeing her in game situations and she has been a treat to watch grow,” Davis said. “I think last year watching and learning from the sidelines has helped her tremendously. She is applying what she learned watching into production on the floor and it's been great for our team.”

Lake Dallas (2-1) set the tone from the opening tip, using an 11-0 run to seize control.

The Lady Falcons, No. 19 in Class 5A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, used their speed to dribble penetrate past the Lady Jaguar defense and also had active hands on defense to force several Flower Mound turnovers.

Buss scored six points during that big run to commence the game and assisted on a basket by junior Jorja Elliott. On Elliott’s basket, Buss dribbled into the heart of the Lady Jaguar defense in an attempt to free up her teammate. Buss passed the ball to an open Elliott underneath the left side of the basket and Elliott finished at the rim.

Sophomore Camryn Richardson buried a 3-pointer from the right wing that forced Flower Mound to burn its first timeout. 

Richardson and Elliott each tallied five points in the victory. Allie Buchanan netted eight points, followed by Bailey Broughton with seven.

“I was impressed with the start, especially after our loss on Saturday (against Frisco Memorial),” Davis said. “I think it was a great bounce back to respond like we did in the first quarter. We were really looking to attack and that was the start we needed.”

In an effort to eliminate Lake Dallas’ path to the basket, Flower Mound switched to a zone defense. The length of the Lady Jaguar defense gave the Lady Falcons fits. Lake Dallas scored just seven points over the final 12 minutes of the first half.

Senior guard Paulina Porter made a layup for the first points of the game for Flower Mound with 3:22 left in the first quarter and sophomore guard Riley Ward followed with back-to-back field goals to cut the deficit to 11-6.

Ward paced Flower Mound’s scoring efforts with eight points. Hailey Bingham finished with five points. Alex Steele, Alyssa Palacios, Emily Curl and Abbie Boutilier tallied four points apiece.

The Lady Jaguars had other chances to further cut into the deficit, but the ball simply wouldn’t fall for Flower Mound, despite corralling several offensive rebounds.

“The length in our zone and our ability to alter passing lanes and make them take tougher shots helped get us going a little bit,” said Sherika Nelson, Flower Mound head coach. “All the credit to Lake Dallas, they made plays all night and controlled the game from the tip.”

At halftime, Davis told her Lady Falcons to use shot fakes and make the good pass to counter the length of the Lady Jaguars. That strategy paid off in spades. Lake Dallas outscored Flower Mound 33-25 in the second half as the lead grew to double digits.

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