PORTALES — The Texico Lady Wolverines showed Saturday night that you don’t need a big scorer to win basketball games.
In fact, sometimes you don’t even need a double-figure scorer.
Freshman Jaylyn Cooper’s seven points led what was certainly a balanced attack as the Lady Wolverines nailed down their second consecutive EPAC girls championship with a 38-16 victory over Dora at Greyhound Arena.
Ten players contributed points for the Lady Wolverines (12-4), who dominated with their defensive pressure.
“Their pressure killed us in our halfcourt sets,” said first-year Dora coach Caleb King, whose team fell to 8-2 for the season. “It took us out of everything we wanted to do.”
Senior Kendra Merrick put the Lady Coyotes in front with two free throws less than two minutes into the game, but Texico scored the next 15 points. Dora had only two field goals through three quarters and trailed at that point 29-8.
“We worked really hard on both ends of the floor,” said Texico senior Jaryse Harris, who was second on the team with six points. “I thought their pressure affected us a little bit, but we just had to get into our game.”
While working deliberately on the offensive end, Texico’s defense forced the Lady Coyotes into 23 turnovers. Only Merrick and her sister, Kelli, managed as many as four points for Dora.
“Our last two games we played decent defense, but I knew it wasn’t as good as it could be,” Texico coach Ryan Autrey said. “I challenged the girls (on that) coming into this game.
“When we put pressure on a team and don’t let them get into their offense, that’s when we have success.”
King said the Lady Coyotes, looking for their first EPAC title since 1992, were hoping to get off to a good start and perhaps put some pressure on Texico.
“When they took the lead on us, it was just kind of a snowball effect,” he said.
Grady 71, San Jon 30 (7th place)
The Lady Bronchos (6-8) rolled to a 29-8 lead in the first quarter and were never threatened.
Sophomore Mandy Rush scored 19 points and hit 9-of-10 free throws for the Lady Bronchos, who as a team went 27-for-33. Junior Molly Rush had 14 points and junior Skylar Starbuck finished with 11.
The high scorer for San Jon (5-10) was junior Tracy Foote with 10 points.
Floyd 41, Elida 36 (3rd place)
The Lady Broncos erased a four-point halftime deficit to upend their Roosevelt County rival, outscoring the Lady Tigers 11-4 in the final period.
Sophomore Tori Tucker scored six of her game-high14 points in the final period for Floyd (11-5). Senior Nicole Jasso finished with 10 points for Elida (11-4).