Brownwood improves to 17-2, Lady Dragons fall to 6-11

The No. 6 Brownwood Lady Lions shook off "a case of the Mondays" on the offensive end of the court thanks to a stifling defensive effort and consistent free throw shooting in a 63-17 victory over the Bangs Lady Dragons at Warren Gym.

The win was the fourth straight for Brownwood (17-2), which followed Friday's second-highest scoring output of the season (83 in a 30-point triumph over Fredericksburg)with Monday's second-fewest points allowed in a game this season (11 against Cherokee). Brownwood also forced 36 Bangs turnovers with 28 coming off steals.

"I really challenged our defense because the last few games our defense really hasn't rotated well or bumped well," said Hohertz, whose team is allowing 35 points per game on average. "For the most part, we did well. We had some breakdowns, but that's when we get lazy and we watch instead of continuing to play defense."

The Lady Lions converted only 32 percent of their field goal attempts, and a season-low 16 percent (3 of 18) of their three-point tries, but drained 22 of 29 free throws - a 75 percent success rate. Brownwood also committed just 10 turnovers.

"I've told them we have to make our free throws because at some point this season it's going to cost us if we don't make at least 75 percent," Hohertz said. "Tonight we were 22 of 29, so we stepped up and made those."

Mallory Garcia tallied a team-high 18 points for Brownwood trailed by 12 from Sage Cupps, nine from Daisy Green, six each from Ryleigh Dalleh and Taytum Sutton, five from Kenya Barnes, four from Mya Wallace and three points from Hadley Monroe.

Playing without leading scorer Taylor Malett, who missed the game to due to an illness, Bangs (6-11) suffered its fifth loss in the last six outings. The previous four defeats were by a combined 13 points, however.

Kyra Smith led Bangs with nine points, Kenzie Baker finished with six points on a pair of three-pointers and Trenedi Deal converted a pair of free throws.

Both teams labored through the first period with Brownwood possessing an 8-5 edge after the initial frame. The Lady Lions stretched the advantage to 29-8 at halftime, thanks in part to sinking 14 of 19 free throws during the quarter. Through three periods, the Lady Lions' lead stood at 48-11.

The Lady Lions held the Lady Dragons scoreless for an 8:06 span - more than the length of a quarter - to end the first half and start the second half. Brownwood scored 18 points in a row to open a 35-8 advantage with 5:15 left in the third period.

Later in the second half, the Lady Lions created a 5:35 scoreless drought for Bangs as Brownwood reeled off 15 points to extend its cushion to 54-12 with 5:56 remaining.

With a large lead throughout most of the contest, Hohertz was able to rotate in substitutions for more freely.

"Daisy gave us some good minutes off the bench, and Wallace gave us some good minutes off the bench when Kenya got in foul trouble," Hohertz said. "That's what we're going to need to be successful down the road. We're going to have to have someone step up if or when someone gets in foul trouble, if somebody is having an off shooting night or if someone gets hurts."

In their final outing before Christmas, the Lady Lions will host Mason at 1 p.m. Friday. There will be just one game that day.

Bangs is off until Dec. 28 when it competes in the Eula tournament.