Cupps pours in 32, Garcia adds 20 as Brownwood improves to 16-2

Playing their first game at Warren Gym since Nov. 21, the No. 6 Brownwood Lady Lions' return home featured one of their best offensive outings of the season in an 83-53 triumph over the Fredericksburg Lady Billies Friday night.

The Lady Lions tallied 35 first-quarter points and drained six of their 10 three-pointers during the opening stanza as Brownwood — which won its third consecutive game and improved to 16-2 on the season — led by 25 points heading into the second period.

“(Fredericksburg) came out in a zone and we like to see zones that are down in the paint,” said Lady Lions head coach Heather Hohertz. “That's just shooting practice for us. We had a cold shooting night in Clyde (30 percent from the floor), but we like to play at home, they practice here every day and they stepped up and made a lot of shots tonight.”

The Lady Lions fell just one point shy of matching the most points they've scored this season, that coming in an 84-11 victory over Class A Cherokee at the San Saba tournament on Nov. 16.

Brownwood sank 44 percent (32 of 73) of its field goals, 38 percent (10 of 26) of its treys and 90 percent (9 of 10) of its free throws against Fredericksburg.

Sage Cupps eclipsed 30 points for the second game in a row, following her 34-point effort at Clyde with 32 against Fredericksburg.

“She knows she doesn't have many games left in her high school career so she's trying to make the most of it while she's still in a Lady Lion uniform, and she shot lights out,” Hohertz said of Cupps.

Mallory Garcia also finished in double figures with 20 points, however, Hohertz felt the point guard put forth one of her best defensive efforts of the season.

“Mallory played maybe the best effort-wise defensively that she's played all year,” Hohertz said. “She really played the passing lanes and got out and got some layups, and that helped her get 20 points as well. Our team really goes when those two go.”

Ryleigh Dalleh chipped in nine points for Brownwood trailed by Kenya Barnes with eight, Daisy Green with seven, Taytum Sutton, Hadley Monroe and McKenzie Welker with two points each and Mya Wallace with one.

The Lady Lions also pulled down 30 rebounds, with 13 on the offensive end, and forced 18 steals and 26 turnovers while turning over the ball only 11 times.

“I challenged them effort-wise and energy-wise to rebound, and I thought our offensive rebounding was better than it's been in a while,” Hohertz said. “I also challenged them to not get sloppy, finish it off and don't let up and I felt like we kept our foot on the gas for a whole four quarters.”

In the decisive first quarter, Cupps snapped a 2-all tie with her first three-pointer just 1:32 into the contest and the Lady Lions' advantage ballooned from there. Leading 10-6 at the 4:13 mark, Brownwood scored 17 consecutive points in a span of 2:04 to pad their lead to 27-6 with 2:09 left in the quarter. During the 17-0 spurt, Garcia contributed eight points — included a three-pointer that pushed the lead to double digits, 17-6, at the 3:15 mark — Cupps contributed five points, including a trey, and Barnes added the final four, including a pair at the free throw line.

Down 35-10 after one quarter, Fredericksburg (8-8) — which received 13 points from Mia Torres and 11 from Ashley Wipff — crept within 18 points, 40-22, with 4:29 left in the first half. Brownwood countered by scoring 10 of the final 12 in the half to open a 50-24 advantage at the break.

By the conclusion of the third period, Brownwood's lead stood at 30 points, 67-37.

The Lady Lions are back in action at 6:30 p.m. Monday as they host Bangs, then welcome Mason at 2:30 p.m. Friday in their final game prior to Christmas.