LIPAN – By playing poorly for a significant stretch, the Lipan Lady Indians showed folks just how good they really are Tuesday night.
The Lady Indians went nearly nine minutes without a point, missing 21 consecutive shots – in their own gym – yet they came away with a 52-33 win over rival Tolar.
“That’s the absolute worst I’ve seen us play,” said an exasperated Lady Indians coach Amber Branson.
“But we tell them keep playing when you’re struggling, and that’s what they did.
“We’re not just one-dimensional or two-dimensional. We have a whole bench that can contribute. I feel blessed to have that.”
The first quarter ended with the Lady Indians, the No. 2 team in the state in Class A Division II, ahead 13-10. Their final points of the opening period were a basket by Kayla Wheeler with 1:55 remaining.
Lipan (7-1) didn’t score again until 1:07 was left in the second quarter, a 3-pointer by Kylee Cross. That cut Tolar’s lead to 17-16. It got the Lady Indians started on a 9-0 run to end the half for a 22-17 lead at intermission.
The Lady Rattlers (2-3) couldn’t build their lead because while Lipan was struggling to make a shot, Tolar was struggling to even get off a shot. The Lady Indians forced 11 turnovers in the second quarter and held the Lady Rattlers to just six shots.
“That was huge,” said Tolar coach Benita Carlton. “The way they play with their pressure defense, you’re going to turn the ball over.
“We just couldn’t score when we needed to.”
Lipan was led by Lanie Roberts with 17 points and nine steals, and Kayla Wheeler with 17 points, while Shauna Coleman scored 14 and grabbed a dozen rebounds – including five offensive boards.
In fact, 16 of Lipan’s 30 rebounds were of the offensive variety.
Tolar was led by Hannah Peregrino with nine points and 12 rebounds. Her rebound total matched the team total from the previous game, a 30-27 win at Wichita Falls Hirschi.
“We stressed that,” said Carlton. “I feel like with our post players we should be outrebounding people.”
Lipan had an overall 30-23 rebound advantage, including 16-6 offensively.
The Lady Indians used a 13-0 third-quarter run to take command of the contest. They finished the game with a 7-0 burst.
But the biggest difference in the game was turnovers. Tolar had 30 and Lipan had 11.
Despite the loss, Carlton said she saw some things she liked from her team in a big game against a longtime rival.
“I feel like we can compete with the best of them. What we showed in the first half proves that,” she said. “I felt like we played well in the first half, but got tired in the second.”
Branson said that while the rivalry may not have the fire it had when the teams were in the same district years ago (Tolar has since moved up to Class 2A), it is still a rivalry.
“There’s nothing they’d love more than to beat us, and Tolar came out ready to play at every position,” Branson said.
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Tolar 10 7 7 9 – 33
Lipan 13 9 18 12 – 52
Tolar (2-3) scoring – Hannah Peregrino 9, Meredith Caudle 8, Marlee Thomas 4, Shelby Nunley 4, Laura Anderson 4, Carly Knapp 2, Michaela Phillips 2.
Lipan (7-1) scoring – Lanie Roberts 17, Kayla Wheeler 17, Shauna Coleman 14, Kylee Cross 3, Tallen Halliday 1.
3-pointers – Tolar: Peregrino 1, Nunley 1, Caudle 1. Lipan: Roberts 2, Wheeler 1, Cross 1.
Rebound leaders – Tolar: Peregrino 12. Lipan: Coleman 12.
Assist leaders – Lipan: Cross 4, Roberts 3.
Steals leader – Lipan: Roberts 9.
Blocks leader – Lipan: Coleman 4.
2-point FG – Tolar 10-26 (38 percent). Lipan 13-39 (33 percent).
3-point FG – Tolar 3-10 (30 percent). Lipan 4-21 (19 percent)
Free throws – Tolar 4-7 (57 percent). Lipan 14-19 (74 percent).
Rebounds – Tolar 23 (6 offensive). Lipan 30 (16 offensive).
Turnovers – Tolar 30, Lipan 11.
Records – Tolar 2-3. Lipan 7-1.