Top-ranked Lady Indians win 23rd straight

The Lipan Lady Indians celebrated their new place atop the state rankings with an 87-25 thumping of rival Huckabay in a District 17-A road contest Tuesday.

The win was the 23rd straight for Lipan, which also improved to 2-0 in District 17-A.

Lanie Roberts scored 24 points to lead the Lady Indians. Shauna Coleman added 20 and Kayla Wheeler tossed in 15.

Roberts and Wheeler each had seven steals to lead the defense, which forced 35 turnovers. Eight Lady Indians combined for 24 steals.

On Monday, the Lady Indians learned they were the new No. 1 team in the state in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class A Division II rankings. They had held the No. 2 position since the season opened.

However, Lipan coach Amber Branson is careful not to get too excited, or to let her team get too thrilled about the ascent. She reminded them that being ranked high and finishing at the top at the state tournament are two completely different things.

“The number one ranking is exciting and an honor to be there, but when it comes down to it, it’s just a number on a piece of paper based on your wins and losses,” she said. “You still have to play the game.

“We were there last year, too. It didn’t get us very far.”

The Lady Indians finished 29-5 and were upset in the third round of the playoffs by Coolidge, 71-65. Lipan was a preseason No. 1 pick and was never lower than sixth in the rankings.

Lipan’s only loss this season is to five-time defending Class 2A state champion Brock, 66-62, a game in which the Lady Indians led in the final few minutes. Brock is 22-2 and ranked second this season.

Girls basketball

Lipan 25 17 25 20 – 87

Huckabay 3 3 3 16 – 25

Lipan (23-1, 2-0 in 17-A) scoring – Lanie Roberts 24, Shauna Coleman 20, Kayla Wheeler 15, Taylor Herrera 6, Kylee Cross 6, Tallen Halliday 5, Bryanna Phelps 5, Shelby Bontke 4, Katelyn Martin 2.

3-pointers – Herrera 2, Cross 2, Roberts 1, Wheeler 1, Phelps 1.

Rebounds – Roberts 4, Coleman 4.

Assists – Herrera 4, Cross 3. Team 18.

Steals – Roberts 7, Wheeler 7. Team 24.

2-point FG – Lipan 31-54 (57 percent). Huckabay 2-8 (25 percent).

3-point FG – Lipan 7-30 (35 percent). Huckabay 7-14 (50 percent).

Free throws – Lipan 4-12 (33 percent). Huckabay 0-0.

Team rebounds – Lipan 24 (13 offensive). Huckabay 17 (0 offensive).

Turnovers – Lipan 7. Huckabay 35.