Lady Dogs aiming for regional
CA MERON—In a st udy of frustration in the early going against Mumford, the Lady Dogs were playing suffocating defense and sweeping the boards of nearly every rebound, but the one phase of the game that counts the most—scoring—had abandoned them.
“Definitely,” exclaimed Thorndale Coach Bradley Dickerson. “ We did everything we wanted to do...except score. I thought it shouldn’t have been as close at halftime.”
Never fear, the No. 7 Lady Dogs found the bottom of the basket enough times and prevailed 43- 30 over Mumford Thursday evening at Yoeman Gymnasium to capture the area championship.
Thor nda le’s qua r ter f ina ls match with Evadale in Groveton was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday.
“We were being very aggressive offensively and defensively but not capitalizing on opportunities,” Dickerson said. “Our defense and free throw shooting were enough to get a win. I thought our players did a good job of trapping their best player (Toni Pemberton) and keeping her somewhat under control.
The Lady Dogs missed 14-of-16 shots in the first quarter—including 10 in a row.
They improved slightly in the second quarter, sinking five-of-16 shots but were seven-of-32 (21 percent) at halftime.
After Mumford (25-5) closed to within 15-12 with 4 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first half, Thorndale reeled off nine straight points for some space and a 24-12 halftime lead.
Caitlyn Goetz accounted for seven of the points in the spurt and the senior guard sparked the Lady Dogs on the evening with 13 points.
Thorndale had hassled the Lady Mustangs into 18 turnovers by halftime. They ended with 25.
The Lady Dogs coughed up the ball 19 times themselves, but luckily, Mumford could not convert them into points.
After Jordan Heine’s putback to make the score 30-15 with 4:49 left in the third quarter, the Lady Dogs would not score again until the buzzer, while Mumford closed the gap to 30-23.
After the comeback attempt, the Lady Mustangs were spent and went the first 4:29 of the final period without a single point and Thorndale took full advantage and led 39-23, the largest lead of the evening.
Postman Margie Sue Llana complemented Goetz with 11 points and eight boards, while Jordan Heine grabbed 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard LaKortney Hyson paced Mumford with 14 points, seven in each half.
Mumford was second in District 26A to Snook. Normangee, the team that denied Thorndale a return trip to the state tournament last season in the regional finals, finished fourth in 26A and did not make the playoffs.
“This is a team with little playoff experience so a win is good for confidence going forward,” Dickerson said.