If Amber Strange is doing this just two games into her freshman season of high school basketball, what lies ahead?
The 5-foot-11 Granbury post scored 17 points and pulled down 15 rebounds Tuesday in a 64-24 rout of Nolan Catholic at the James Wann Sports Center.
“I’m trying to get back in basketball mode,” said Strange, who was also a big part of the best volleyball season GHS has enjoyed.
“I come and practice every morning, shoot free throws, work on things that I need to improve. I’m ready for a good season.”
Strange was recently named the Newcomer of the Year in District 7-4A volleyball. She was a major force in the Lady Pirates finishing 41-6 and advancing to the Class 4A Region I championship match, both the best in school history.
“Amber is going to have a lot more nights like this one,” coach Leta Andrews said. “She works hard, and she really wants to be very successful.”
Tuesday’s victory lifted the Lady Pirates to 4-4 and was their fourth consecutive win after starting 0-4. It comes as they are preparing to open district Tuesday at Fort Worth South Hills.
Seven Lady Pirates scored against Nolan (2-4), led by Strange and Morgan Northcutt, who also scored 17. Nine players grabbed a rebound, with Bryce Frank pulling down 13 to give her a double-double as she also scored 11 points.
In all, Granbury dominated the rebounds, pulling down 51 compared to Nolan’s 14.
The Lady Pirates’ lineup features four players 5-10 or taller. Along with Strange, Whitley Tipton is 5-10, Shelstead is 6-0, and Frank is 6-3.
“I’d much rather shoot that high-percentage shot up close than shoot from downtown Granbury,” said Andrews, referencing the height, and adding with a grin, “Of course, I feel good when Morgan shoots from downtown Granbury.”
NORTHCUTT EXTENDS STREAK
Northcutt hit four 3-pointers in the first half as the Lady Pirates raced to a 41-9 halftime lead. She was also 5-for-5 at the free throw line, extending her streak of consecutive foul shots made to a school-record 56.
Three of her free throws came after she was fouled attempting 3-pointers.
“I missed a free throw today just messing around before practice, and it felt weird,” said Northcutt with a chuckle.
SOUTH HILLS FREEZE-OUT
Last season when the Lady Pirates visited the Lady Scorpions, there was no heat in the South Hills gym. and the game was in January. The game itself was forgettable, with Granbury winning going away, but the night was one they’ll not soon forget – and don’t want to repeat, said Andrews.
“We had girls who didn’t want to come off the floor because the running was keeping them warm, and then when they’d put on their sweats to go on the bench they didn’t want to take them out to go out there,” she said.
“It was a miserable night, and our poor fans were freezing.”
This year the game in Fort Worth is coming at an earlier date, but the weather has been frigid, nonetheless.
“We’re ready for district, and not just to play,” said Andrews with a smile. “My girls are already talking about getting their sweats ready.”
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Nolan Catholic 5 4 12 3 – 24
Granbury 17 24 7 16 – 64
Nolan Catholic (2-4) scoring leader – Ellis 13.
Granbury (4-4) scoring – Amber Strange 17, Morgan Northcutt 17, Bryce Frank 11, Whitley Tipton 6, Caroline Forrest 5, Kennedy Shelstead 5, Lily Thornton 3.
3-pointers – Nolan: Ellis 2. Granbury Northcutt 3.
Rebound leaders – Nolan: Eckelbarger 5. Granbury: Strange 15, Frank 13, Northcutt 6, Thornton 5.
Granbury assist leaders – Northcutt 4, Frank 3.
Granbury steal leaders – Northcutt 3, Frank 3.
2-point FG – Nolan 4-28 (14 percent). Granbury 19-46 (41 percent).
3-point FG – Nolan 2-6 (33 percent). Granbury 4-13 (31 percent).
Free throws – Nolan 10-12 (83 percent). Granbury 14-21 (67 percent).
Team rebounds – Nolan 14. Granbury 51.
Turnovers – Nolan 18. Granbury 13.