Lipan girls defend top ranking


In what could be a warmup to a rematch this weekend a few miles up the road, the Lipan Lady Indians defeated visiting Santo 56-41 Saturday.

The contest was homecoming for the Lady Indians, who improved to 9-0 and continued to solidify their No. 1 ranking in the state in Class A Division II by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

It was also the first homecoming in their new gym, finally completed prior to this season after sitting dormant for more than a decade. It was started in 1999 but funding ran out. It was finished following the passage of a $2.5 million bond package.

Like Lipan, Santo also came into the game undefeated and state-ranked. The Lady Wildcats came in ranked sixth in the state in Class A Division I, but fell to 7-1 with the loss.

“It was a good win for us,” said Lipan coach Amber Branson. “They have a very good team.

“They have a good guard in the coach’s daughter, and a solid post player that is comparable to ours (Lipan’s Shauna Coleman).”

Coleman led Lipan, posting a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She also blocked a pair of shots.

Lanie Roberts added 18 points with seven rebounds and five steals.

“We handled the ball really well and controlled the tempo and emotional part of the game,” said Branson. “There was a great crowd for homecoming. It was a fun game.”

Both teams shot better from 3-point range than they did from 2-point range. Lipan was 7-for-15 (47 percent) from long distance and 16-for-39 (41 percent) in closer, while Santo was 5-for-13 (38 percent) on treys and 9-for-40 (23 percent) from 2-point territory.

The Lady Indians didn’t make many trips to the free throw line, going 3-for-5, as Santon only committed four fouls all night. The Lady Wildcats went 16 times, but made just eight shots.

Rebounds were almost even (33-32 Santo) with Santo holding a 14-10 advantage on the offensive boards. Steals were also basically even (12-10 Lipan), but the Lady Indians forced the Lady Wildcats into 21 turnovers while committing just a dozen of their own.

Lipan is also ranked No. 1 by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. The Lady Indians finished second in the state last season and reached the semifinals two seasons ago.

The Lady Indians are in the Santo Tournament this weekend. Should they win their first two games, they could meet the Lady Wildcats again in the championship Saturday.

Girls basketball

Santo 14 9 10 8 — 41

Lipan 14 20 8 14 – 56

Lipan (9-0) scoring – Shauna Coleman 19, Lanie Roberts 18, Taylor Herrera 6, Tallen Halliday 5, Kayla Wheeler 4, Rhiana Michou 4.

3-pointers – Roberts 3, Herrara 2, Michou 1, Halliday 1.

Rebounds – Coleman 11, Roberts 7, Herrera 5.

Assists – Michou 8, Herrera 4.

Steals – Roberts 5, Wheeler 4.

Blocks – Coleman 2.

Free throws – Santo 8-16, Lipan 3-5.