The Hitchcock Lady Bulldogs cranked up their intensity level a few notches to come away with an impressive 67-51 win over the Crockett Lady Bulldogs in Friday’s Region III-3A area round playoff game at Conroe High School.
“We came out energetic; the intensity was high,” Hitchcock senior guard Irish Winn, who poured in a game-high 25 points, said. “We were ready to play.”
Hitchcock, which led wire-to-wire, looked like it would run away with the game early, as the team’s trademark pressure defense helped get them out to a 10-0 lead.
Taivionna Daniels (15 points) grabbed the game’s opening tip and raced down court for a layup just a few seconds into the game. Daniels capped off the 10-0 run with a steal and layup.
“On the defensive end, we came out with the best start that we could’ve came out with,” Hitchcock head coach Andrew Hubbell said. “Our pressure was getting to them. We were getting turnovers. Everything that we typically do, we did.”
But, Crockett went on a 6-2 run to get back to within striking distance, and for most of the game, kept things close.
“When you can get that kind of start, it’s great; sustaining it was the issue,” Hubbell said. “But then in the fourth, you could see that energy kind of pick back up.”
After a nice assist by DeAsja Fury to Winn for a layup gave Hitchcock a 21-8 lead in the first quarter, Crockett ended the period on a 6-0 run. Crockett’s Tynaisha McKnight (14 points) ended a back-and-forth second quarter with a half-court buzzer beater to cut Hitchcock’s lead to 35-28 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Crockett got as close as 43-36 on a pair of made free throws from Katelin Holmes (eight points), but Hitchcock scored four unanswered points to close the period.
Leading 55-45 midway through the fourth quarter, Hitchcock went on an 8-1 run to essentially put the game away. Highlighting the run was a steal and assist by Jimile Johnson (six points, seven rebounds) to Daniels for a layup, as well as a long outlet pass off of a rebound by Majesty Otems (nine points, 10 rebounds) that was right on the mark to Winn for a wide-open lay-in.
“Our energy to start and finish that game was very, very good, I thought,” Hubbell said.
Also having a strong game for Hitchcock was Taylor Kendrick with 11 points.
Up next, Hitchcock faces East Chambers in the Region III-3A quarterfinals at a time, date and location to be determined.