Rebuilt Lady Dogs roll
Saturday’s victory in the championship game of the Lady Tiger Classic proves that rebuilding permits are at an all-time high.
The 10- 2 Lady D o g swho skyr to No9inthe state polls this week, staved off a talented Sealy squad 42-34 for the championship.
Host Rockdale placed eighth in the tournament, the first in Rockdale after a 20-year absence.
To reach the finals of the eight team tournament, Thorndale knocked off larger schools Austin Lanier and Taylor.
“I thought we played well,” said Thorndale Coach Bradley Dickerson. “Our conditioning is improving which is allowing us to play harder full court defense for longer stretches. Earlier in the year we weren’t able to do that well.
“Our post players are really coming around and scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots for us. Our guards are starting to make better decisions.
Thorndale came out gunning in the early going, but committed 16 turnovers in the first half.
On t he ot her ha nd, Sea ly missed 34 shots in the f irst half, but because of the Lady Dogs’ generosity with the ball, scratched out a 22-21 lead at halftime.
Thorndale continued to turn the ball over with great frequency with eight in the third quarter and Sealy continued to wear out the backboard (2-for-16), but the Lady Dogs began to create some distance and led 31-26 by the end of the third quarter.
Thor nda le ma int a ined it s lead in the final stanza, with 6- foot-5 sophomore Olivia Atkins accounting for five of the 11 points in the quar ter as the three-point play on a follow shot to give the lady Dogs their largest lead, 41-32 with 1 minute, 57 seconds remaining to be played.
Atkins poured in 14 points with an equal number of rebounds to lead Thorndale, while Mirah Knapek—who scored the Lady Dogs’ first seven points—also turned in 14 points, with 11 of those coming in the first half.
While Thorndale turned the ball over 32 times, Sealy shot 20 percent from the floor.
The Lady Dogs cruised into the championship game, whipping Lanier 71-24 and Taylor 63-11.
Atkins, Knapek and Marlene Hall were all nemd to the alltournament team.
“Perimeter shooting and free t hrow shooting was bet ter,” Dickerson said. “Defensively, our team D is getting much more consistent.”
The Lady Tigers could not get any momentum going in their own tournament, losing all three of their games.
Rockdale opened with a 42- 25 loss to Taylor, then were trimmed by Austin Lanier 39-34 and Cameron 41-17.
Against Taylor, Janeene Maloy led the way with six points, while Victor ia Drake and Shalona Mitchell had four each.
Against Cameron, Devin Flores hit for five points, followed by Mitchell’s four.
In the Lanier contest, Maloy had 11 points.
The Lady Tigers stopped the losing skid Tuesday night with a 38-28 win over Lexington Trinity Christian at Tiger Gym.
Trailing in the first quarter, Rockdale (3-7) erupted for 15 points in the second quarter to provide the margin of victory.
Drake provided 10 points and five steals to lead the Lady Tigers who had 11 thefts as a team.