AUBREY — Open shots were far and few between for the Lake Dallas girls basketball team early into Friday’s state-ranked District 8-5A clash with Denton Braswell.
And although the Lady Falcons found a temporary solution in the second half, it wasn’t enough to overcome a woeful offensive first couple of quarters in a 49-35 loss to the Lady Bengals, who remain atop the district standings at 2-0 while dealing Lake Dallas its first setback in league play.
The loss doubled as the Lady Falcons’ most lopsided of an otherwise strong season, with Friday tasking Lake Dallas with clawing out of a 30-12 hole at halftime. A defensive adjustment helped the Lady Falcons in that pursuit, with head coach Jordan Davis dialing up a zone defense that slowed the movement of the athletic Lady Bengals for much of the third quarter.
After posting quarters of 14 and 16 points in the first half, Lake Dallas limited Braswell to just four points in the third stanza and cut its deficit to 34-25 by quarter’s end.
“We were trying to force them to hit outside shots. They weren’t able to do that in the third quarter but then knocked some down in the fourth,” Davis said. “I don’t think we were ready to play. We had one go down in practice yesterday and are still a little banged up, but Braswell is a great team. They’re long, athletic and they don’t let you get into what you like to do offensively.”
Letting their lead shrink to as many as eight points, the Lady Bengals had a bit more success moving the ball against the Lake Dallas zone to pull away in the fourth quarter. Kamryn Gibson and Aminah each had 10 points to pace a balanced effort that saw the Lady Bengals log nine different scorers.
The Lady Falcons’ chances at matching that firepower were hindered by some early foul trouble for players like sophomore Jorja Elliott and senior Dorian Norris — a symptom of an aggressive Braswell offense that generated a flurry of shots at the rim — and left Lake Dallas without some of its most reliable sources of offense for much of the first half.
“It definitely hurt us,” Davis said. “We have one starter pick up two fouls within the first couple minutes of the game and then Dorian then picked two in the second quarter, and when you’re already down you can’t have those things happen. You have to be smarter.”
Braswell can have that effect on teams, however, deploying a swarming, trapping defense that forced Lake Dallas to commit 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone — a frame the Lady Falcons managed to score only six points.
Those struggles persisted into the second quarter where Braswell’s lead swelled to as many as 21 points, with Lake Dallas at last cracking double figures late in the stanza.
“We just have to try and replicate it as much as we can,” Davis said on future preparations for the Lady Bengals’ defense. “It’s hard to do because they’re so good at it, but we just have to practice getting as much pressure as we can so our players are ready for it.”
With the impact of players like Elliott and Norris neutralized in the first half, plenty was placed on senior Josephine Elliott, who posted a game-high 15 points in the loss. Her younger sister, Jorja, added seven points and Norris tallied five for a ball club that exits the week at 2-1 in district play but slumping to losses in four of its past five games.
The Lady Falcons look to halt their skid at 6 p.m. Tuesday during a home tilt against Little Elm. Lake Dallas bested the Lady Lobos on Dec. 27 as part of the Lady Bulldog Holiday Classic, 43-40.