By Andrew Glover
MULHALL, Okla. —
Morning games can be tough for high school basketball teams. Just ask Coyle coach Tom Webb, whose Lady Bluejackets tipped off at 10 a.m. against the Dover Lady Longhorns in the Mulhall-Orlando Tournament. Fortunately, Webb’s team was more awake as it beat Dover 50-32 Thursday at Mulhall-Orlando Elementary School.
“We had an early shoot-around to get them ready to go,” Webb said. “We figured both teams would be kind of flat.”
Coyle jumped out to an 11-2 lead and never let go. Dover’s turnovers led to easy baskets for the Lady Bluejackets. Shelby Jennings said they were just ready to play.
“We just focused and didn’t give up,” Jennings said. “We kept playing.”
The Lady Bluejackets (9-4) led 13-4 after the first. Webb said his team got good defensive pressure.
“Their leading scorer didn’t score,” Webb said. “Other girls scored but their leading scorer didn’t. So it was pretty good defense.
The Lady Longhorns didn’t get closer than seven and trailed 23-13 at halftime. Jennings and Tyra Aska provided the spark for Coyle. Aska dominated the paint with eight points. The guard got to the free throw line, converting 4 of 5 attempts. Jennings hit three 3-pointers to lead the team with 9 points at halftime. In the second half, Jennings hit three more to lead the team with 18 points.
“I just practice on (my shot) everyday,” Jennings said. “I guess I was just feeling it.”
The Lady Bluejackets maintained their lead in the third quarter. Shilah Young’s play in the paint helped keep Coyle ahead. Young scored 6 of her 12 points in the third, with most of her scoring coming off offensive rebounds. The Lady Bluejackets sealed the game with an 8-0 run in the fourth.
Coyle faces Garber in the semifinals at 3:20 p.m. Friday. Webb said his team will be ready.
“(Garber) beat us by one point in the Frontier Tournament,” Webb said. “We led most of the game and let it get away. We are looking forward to playing them.”