Kaelyn Hamilton

McKinney North sophomore Kaelyn Hamilton, right, helped lead the Lady Bulldogs past Sachse on Tuesday, 40-36.

The McKinney North girls basketball team is getting plenty of reps in close games early this season, and Tuesday’s showdown with perennial Class 6A playoff program Sachse was no different.

Points were at a premium between both teams in the matchup, but the Lady Bulldogs were able to use a productive first half to hold off Sachse in the end for a 40-36 victory.

The win improved North to 6-1 to begin a season that has already included multiple ballgames against state-ranked opponents. The Lady Mustangs entered the year ranked No. 17 in 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

But Sachse faced an uphill climb early on after being held to just seven points in the first quarter, facing a 13-7 deficit out of the gates. North went on to lead at the half 25-17 before the Lady Mustangs’ defense took over in the second half.

North was held to just 14 points over the final two quarters but managed enough of a response late to fend off Sachse for the non-district victory.

Sophomores Kaelyn Hamilton and Ciara Harris, who respectively earned 10-5A’s offensive and defensive player of the year honors as freshmen, led the way with 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the win. Senior Alexia Catching added seven points for North.

The Lady Bulldogs allowed just one double-digit scorer on the other end of the floor, with Sachse’s Neenah George scoring 16 points.

Tuesday’s win followed up a 3-1 stint for North at the Mavs Fall Classic — the team scored wins over Red Oak (57-56), Denton Guyer (42-25) and John Paul II (54-53) but suffered a 53-48 loss to Frisco Liberty, ranked No. 2 in 5A. The Lady Redhawks knocked North out of the playoffs last season in the bi-district round before going on to author a state runner-up finish.

Following a Friday matchup against Rockwall (results not available at press time), the Lady Bulldogs return to action at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday for a road game against Lakeview Centennial.


Hebron sophomores get better of Lionettes

The Hebron girls had their hands full against a deep McKinney squad on Tuesday, but the Lady Hawks used a combined 31 points from their two returning sophomore starters, Jordan Thomas and Paris Bradley, to spell the difference.

Thomas led all scorers with 18 and Bradley chipped in 13 as Hebron held off McKinney late for a 52-46 victory.

The Lady Hawks and Lionettes were tied at 24-24 through one half with Hebron nudging ahead 40-37 through three frames. Zee Bryant complemented Thomas and Bradley with 10 points in the win, as the Lady Hawks picked up their fourth victory in five games.

McKinney, meanwhile, dipped to 3-5 in what has been a loaded schedule to begin its 2021-22 campaign. The Lionettes have alternated wins and losses over their past four ballgames.

In playing Hebron close, McKinney was paced by 14 points from sophomore Samantha Tillson — an early bright spot for a Lionette team that rosters just two seniors this season. Of McKinney’s 11 varsity players, six are either freshmen or sophomores.

Behind Tillson, junior Jillian Fox scored nine points on Tuesday and sophomore Skylar Anamekwe added eight.


Lady Broncos can’t keep pace with old rival

The McKinney Boyd girls have begun their season on a productive note, looking to build off a 3-1 showing at the Mavs Fall Classic on Tuesday against former district foe Plano West. The Lady Wolves weren’t in a particularly accommodating mood, however — jumping on the Lady Broncos early for an 18-7 lead through one quarter and riding that initial surge to a 55-26 victory.

Boyd had its hands full trying to slow West’s Monica Marsh, who scored 18 points and had help from Kham Hopkins (13 points) and Ava Shane (10).

The Lady Broncos, meanwhile, were paced by 10 points from Aniyah Johnson, the lone player on the team to score in double figures in the game. Karah Riley chipped in six points and Brooklyn Bunch added four.

Boyd was held to single digits in all four quarters against West, dipping to 4-2 on the season.

The Lady Broncos had found the win column four times within their first five games of the year — defeating a score of Frisco ISD opponents. Early-season wins for Boyd include Frisco Wakeland (32-29), Dallas Hillcrest (39-27), Frisco Heritage (45-41) and Frisco (36-34). 

Prior to Tuesday’s loss to West, the Lady Broncos’ only other defeat came to Frisco Lebanon Trail on Nov. 12 (52-33).

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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