ALEDO – The Granbury Lady Pirates came into Tuesday’s basketball game hoping to move into a tie for first place in District 7-4A.
They left Bearcat Indoor Stadium never even tying the game in a 53-27 loss to the Aledo Ladycats.
The Ladycats, the No. 2 team in the state, forced the Lady Pirates into 37 turnovers. Of those, 18 were via steals by Aledo players in their swarming defense.
“Personnel like that, they’re here, there and everywhere,” said Lady Pirate coach Leta Andrews, whose team fell to 4-2 in district (12-9 overall).
“And they’re on a mission. Friend or foe, they don’t care. They’re going to try and win it all, and they’ve got a team that could do it.”
Last season the Ladycats reached the state semifinals with coach Rusty Johnson. He left to coach Northwest, and Andrews’ assistant Mike Pinkerton took over.
“We have worked so hard on defense here,” said Pinkerton.
“You look at all the girls back from last year, we know we can shoot the ball.”
Then, after some he added, “And our defense can get better.”
That’s a scary thought. Aledo’s press was so stifling that Granbury managed only 23 shots, including just 16 in the paint.
The Lady Pirates never reached double-digit shots in any quarter, attempting seven in the first, six in the second, five in the third and five in the fourth.
The Ladycats (17-3 overall, 6-0 in 7-4A) and Trimble (20-3, 6-0, No. 7 in state) were playing last night for sole possession of first place in district. Aledo defeated Tech 60-55 earlier this season in the Van Griffith Kia Basketball Classic in Granbury.
“One of the first things I told them when I came here is, ‘You made it all the way to state. You were awestruck. But you’ve been there, now go back down there and win it,’” said Pinkerton.
The Ladycats scored the first five points of the game and were never threatened, leading 20-6 after the first quarter. The closest Granbury got the rest of the way was a dozen points, 22-10, early in the second quarter.
Bryce Frank, who played at Aledo last season before moving to Granbury, led all rebounders with 14 of her team’s 21.
The Lady Pirates were hosting Arlington Heights (10-4, 4-2) last night, with the winner finishing the first half of league play in third place.
Andrews said she hopes her team can find a way to cut down on turnovers as it prepares to enter the stretch run of the season. The Lady Pirates turned the ball over 40 times in their previous game, a 63-45 loss to Trimble Tech in Fort Worth.
“Surely they’re hungry to do better than we’ve done in these two games,” she said.
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Granbury 6 6 8 7 – 27
Aledo 20 8 21 4 – 53
Granbury (12-9, 4-2 in 7-4A) scoring – Morgan Northcutt 10, Bryce Frank 6, Kennedy Shelstead 5, Amber Strange 4, Erin Jones 2.
Aledo (17-3, 6-0) leading scorers – Megan Wood 16, Justis Sczcepanski 15.
3-pointers – Gran.: Northcutt 2. Aledo: Kaylee Black 2, Wood 1, Alyssa Dry 1.
Rebounds – Gran.: Frank 14team 21. Aledo: Breann Forbes 8, team 23.
Assists – Gran.: Strange 2, Frank 2. Aledo: Dry 3.
Steals – Gran.: Northcutt 2. Aledo: Wood 5, Dry 5.
2-point FG – Gran. 9-16 (56 percent). Aledo 16-32 (50 percent).
3-point FG – Gran. 2-7 (29 percent). Aledo 4-9 (44 percent).
FT – Granbury 3-10 (30 percent). Aledo 9-18 (50 percent).
Turnovers – Granbury 37, Aledo 16.