Thorndale, Milano chalk up opening wins in district play
GRANGER—The Thorndale Lady Dogs opened up District 26A action on Tuesday night with a convincing 79-13 win on the road at Granger.
Thorndale (14-9, 1-0) has made 10 straight post-season appearances. The last two as a Class 2A team. Last year they just missed out on a trip to the state tournament with a loss to Poth in the regional finals.
Senior Kristen Butterworth erupted for 25 points as the Lady Bulldogs posted their sixth win in their last seven games.
Sophomore Shelbi Schneider chipped in 22, while Kamryn Holder added 14 and Charity Tatroe 13.
Leading 18-6 after one period, Thorndale poured it on in the second with 31 points for a 49-8 lead at intermission.
The Lady Bulldogs forced 35 turnovers and Granger (2-15, 0-2) got off only 21 shots.
Head coach Bradley Dickerson, in his 13th season at the Lady Dogs helm, said his team is ready to roll in district play.
“I think we are ready. We are playing our best basketball of the season. We were within one of Crawford the other day and shot two free throws the whole game and they shot 18.” He talking about the Lady Dogs’ 43-35 loss to Crawford in the annual Thorndale Shootout on Dec. 28.
“Our improvement is definitely showing. I think we are ready to go,” he added.
LAST WARM-UP—In the team’s last game before league play started, the Lady Dogs took down Austin St. Dominic Savio 49-34 on Friday at Bulldog Gym.
Savio had no answer for Thorndale’s Atkins who had her fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Tamicka Cook also scored in double figures with 11 points.
The Lady Dogs will host long time rival Thrall on Friday and then travel to face Holland on Tuesday.
The Milano Lady Eagles struggled from the free throw line and had several turnovers in their 36-24 loss to the Iola Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday night at Geneva Paceley Gym. It was the first District 25A home game for Milano.
The Lady Eagles (6-13, 1-1) hit just 12 of 27 attempts from the free throw line against Iola.
Raighley Shaw led the team in scoring with 11 points on the night.
Defensively, Kelly Wadlington had seven steals and Keely Lagrone snagged eight rebounds.
The Lady Eagles are looking to reach the post-season for only the second time in last 21 years.
The Milano girls hadn’t been in the post-season in 11 years when they advanced to the bi-district round in 2011 where they lost to Shiner.
The co-district championship they shared with Thrall that season was the first piece of league hardware for the Lady Eagles since 1992 when they won the district title.
OPENING WIN—The Lady Eagles snagged a district opener win on the road Friday at Mumford. Milano took down the Lady Mustangs 49-31 behind a 6-point performance from senior Raighley Shaw. She also added six boards.
“We are happy to have won our first district game, but also realize that there are many games left to play,” Lady Eagles head coach Catrina Steinbecker said. “I hope the win will give the girls confidence to be successful through the season.”
Milano will host Snook on Friday and then travel to Somerville on Tuesday.