The Brownwood Lady Lions’ roller coaster pre-district performance continued Tuesday night with a 54-44 loss to the Class 3A No. 12 Jim Ned Lady Indians at Warren Gym.
“Jim Ned came in and completely took us out of what we wanted to do,” said Lady Lions 10th-year head coach Heather Hohertz. “Their defense was sound man-to-man, and that dictated what we did offensively. They took us away from our inside game and we were stagnant with the ball and didn’t move the ball. They pretty much did what they wanted to.”
Jim Ned (7-3) scored 15 unanswered points to end the first period and begin the second, which turned a one-point lead into a 25-9 cushion with 5:31 left in the first half. Brownwood closed the gap to 30-21 by halftime and trailed 38-29 with 3:41 left in the third until a trio of Jim Ned three-pointers stretched the lead to 47-31 at the 1:18 mark.
Libby Tutt led Jim Ned with 20 points, including six on three-pointers, while Jenna Moore chipped in 12 points on four treys. As a team, the Lady Indians drained nine three-pointers.
“We came in the game talking about taking away No. 23 (Tutt) and No. 14 (Moore) and one has 20 on us and the other has 12 on us,” Hohertz said. “As a coaching staff that’s on us. We have to figure out a way to get them to respond better because that’s two games in a row that we’ve butchered the scouting the report.”
Meanwhile, Brownwood all-state guard Mallory Garcia was held to just four points. Matyha Thompson paced the Lady Lions with 13 points trailed by Hadley Monroe with six, McKenzie Welker and Ryleigh Dalleh with five each, Garcia with four, Lindsey Larose and Brooke Price with three each, CarolAnn Hetzel and Catrina Brooks with two apiece and Kenya Barnes with one point.
“Any time teams start taking Mallory away and can limit her to four points, right now we’re struggling with that,” Hohertz said. “Teams are going to start doing that to us and we’re going to have to find ways to get other people scoring. Matyha helped us a little bit in that department.”
The Lady Lions led just once, 4-3, after a three-pointer by Dalleh at 5:52 of the first period. Down 10-9 after a bucket by Thompson with 59 seconds left in the opening frame, Tutt scored the final five points of the quarter to ignite Jim Ned’s string of 15 straight points.
After yielding the first five points of the third period to fall behind 35-21, the Lady Lions closed to within eight, 37-29, following a Welker bucket at the 5:07 juncture. But the Lady Indians warmed up behind the three-point arc and carried a 47-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
Trailing by as many as 18 points in the final stanza, 52-34, the Lady Lions held Jim Ned scoreless over the final 2:32 to shave the final deficit to 10 points.
Brownwood is back in action at the Lorena tournament with games Thursday through Saturday.
“We have to continue to search for our identity because we’re struggling with that right now,” Hohertz said of the weekend goals. “Hopefully we play with consistency on both ends. I don’t think we’ve been playing 100 percent on every possession so far.”