After beating Columbia four days prior, the Sealy Lady Tigers basketball team won their second straight game in convincing fashion by beating the Bay City Black Cats 53-33. It was their final game before heading into their nine-day Christmas break. Head Coach Anthony Branch said getting a win before a break in play will help the team’s confidence heading into the second half of the season but the team knows improvement is still possible.
“You want to get those win because you want to be feeling good about yourself again and I think they did that,” Branch said. “I asked them after the game though if they were satisfied and they weren’t so I told them to start doing things in practice and in games to make sure we’re satisfied.”
The Lady Tigers began the game well as they finished the first quarter up 13-9 which they then extended to a 23-12 lead towards the end of the second quarter. However, the team allowed Bay City to hit a series of transition three-pointers that narrowed the lead to 23-21.
“I went and told them at halftime they had to work for better shots and that will help them get the ball in the hole,” Branch said. “I left the starters in more during the second half and we ended up pulling away in the second half.”
The second half was a strong defensive one for the team as they held the Black Cats to five points in the third quarter and seven points in the fourth. The Lady Tigers on the other hand scored 13 in the third and 17 in the fourth to secure the win.
Four starters played 25 minutes or more in the game with Zoee Jeffrey leading the team in scoring with 13 points, McKayla Black led with 10 assists and seven steals. Jeffrey had five steals as well.
Branch said playing starters and turning the bench into shorter rotations will be a key focus for the team as district play edges closer and the starters should be ready for that responsibility from a conditioning standpoint.
“We’ve got seven games before we start playing district opponents and a lot of them are explosive and athletic so I have to get those top seven and eight players ready to go,” Branch said. “We didn’t have an issue with conditioning against Bay City in what felt like the first time all year so they’re ready to take that one.”
The team will resume competition this weekend as they travel to Weimar for a tournament on Thursday and will continue to play through Saturday. The Lady Tigers’ first game of the new year will be played on Jan. 2 on the road against El Campo.