The previous night, the Clear Creek Wildcats girls basketball team made its 2020-21 District 24-6A debut at Dickinson following a two-week COVID-19 quarantine, and the team's lack of game action showed, head coach Kristi Odom said.
But, with their rust all the way shaken off Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats quickly and emphatically bounced back from their district opening loss with a one-sided 43-16 home victory over Brazoswood.
“I thought we did a good job of rebounding and keeping the ball out of the paint — those were our two keys today,” Odom said.
“Today was a good day to bounce back and get ready for Monday,” Odom added.
Tied 2-2 early in the first quarter, Clear Creek reeled off 10 unanswered points and never really looked back, continuing to pull away from the Lady Buccaneers for the remainder of the game.
Olivia Shaw kickstarted Clear Creek’s 10-0 run with a bucket down low and also contributed two made free throws during the scoring sprint, which also included a mid-range jumper from Bria Reed, two free throws from J.J. Schmaltz and a lay-in from Skyler Bellamy.
Highlighted by a 3-pointer swished by Shaw and a steal and strong fast-break drive to the hoop by Lili Pena, the Wildcats scored the first nine points of the second quarter to swell their lead to 21-4.
After taking a 24-9 lead into the halftime intermission, Clear Creek started the third quarter with eight unchecked points to boost its advantage to 32-9. In a balanced effort, Kennedy Williams, Eliya Ellis, Schmaltz and Shaw each contributed two points to the run.
Second-chance points from Macy Leger and Aaliyah Wiley helped the Lady Bucs chip Clear Creek’s lead down to 34-15 at the end of the third quarter, but the Wildcats' defense clamped down in the fourth period, not allowing a Brazoswood field goal in the final 8 minutes.
“I’m really proud of their defensive effort, and boxing out and rebounding in that fourth quarter was huge,” Odom said. “They got us in the third quarter. We let them have too many put-backs in the third quarter.”
Offensively, Clear Creek scored the game’s final nine points, sparked by a 3-pointer knocked down by Pena and an and-1 from Shaw.
On the game, the Wildcats out-rebounded Brazoswood 38-26 and pressured the Lady Bucs into 22 turnovers.
Shaw led Clear Creek in scoring with 12 points, while Schmaltz stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Pena also had eight points.
Wiley led Brazoswood with five points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
Up next for the Wildcats (1-1 in district) will be a key contest against an upstart Clear Brook (2-0) squad. Tip-off is scheduled 1 p.m. Monday.