Looking to make back-to-back playoff appearances in consecutive seasons the Anna Lady Coyotes tipped off their district schedule with a tough loss against Community. However, a road win over Bonham on Jan. 7 put a brighter spin on things for the girls in purple.
"The girls played well together in Bonham," Anna Head Coach Grant Bergman said. "They responded well to the physicality by playing with toughness, which was absent last Friday. Mikaela found a scoring touch to complement Dei. Jaci hasn’t hit two bigger free throws, and freshman Avery Oonk played well, too."
The road to the playoffs are not any easier over the next two games, as Anna will play host to Princeton on Friday, have a bye on Tuesday and will then take on Melissa the following Friday night as they wrap up the first half of their district schedule.
Anna 47, Bonham 45
Looking to rebound from a surprising loss against Community on Jan. 3, the Lady Coyotes traveled to Bonham with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove Tuesday night. It was a nail-biter until the very end but Anna was able to pull away late and get the oh-so-important district win.
The Lady Warriors were ahead early but a bucket from senior Tessa Hutto evened the game at 7-7 mid-way through the opening quarter. A traditional 3-point play late in the quarter again erased the Lady Coyote deficit when Dei Moreno knocked down a field goal and resulting free throw. At the end of one period the score was knotted at 11-all.
Amber Ramos knocked down a three and Mikaela Gililland came right back with another early in the second as Anna started off on a 10-1 run. That run was keyed by four consecutive shots from the charity stripe from Moreno to help the Lady Coyotes take a commanding lead.
A rebound and put-back from Gililland stopped a run from Bonham which was able to battle back late in the period to make it close. Anna led 25-21 at the break.
Anna started the third period strong with a bucket from Hutto courtesy of a Moreno dime and floater in the lane. The momentum shifted again, however, and it was the Lady Warriors who were able to finish strong and regain the lead at the end of the third.
With six lead changes in the fourth quarter the game came down to the wire. Anna went ahead with just over two minutes left in the game on a Jaci Richardson steal and lay-up. Bonham was able to tie the game with a free-throw and then go ahead 45-seconds later with another shot from the charity stripe.
Nearing the end, Bonham fouled Richardson with 11 seconds to play; she missed the first 1-and-1 try but a lane violation gave her another chance and she sank consecutive shots to give Anna a 46-45 advantage. Ramos hit the final free throw with little more than one second to play to give the Lady Coyotes their final advantage, 47-45.
Moreno led the team with 15 points in the game and Gililland was the other Lady Coyote in double-digits with 11.
Other Anna scorers included Tessa Hutto (7), Avery Oonk (5), Jaci Richardson (4), Amber Ramos (4) and Breeanna Dilldine (1).
A 11 14 9 13 — 47
B 11 11 13 10 — 45
Community 43, Anna 39
In a district opner that started very slow but finished with intensity Anna fell on Friday at the hands of Community, 43-39.
Moreno led the team with 23 points and was the only consistent source of offense for Anna, which led 7-4 at the end of the first quarter and then 21-15 at the half after leading by as many as 10 during the second period.
Anna got in trouble in the third when it was held to just four points coming in the last minute of the period with two buckets by Moreno. The Lady Coyotes fought back, however, and led by four with just over two minutes to go in the game.
The Lady Braves were able to finish out on a 10-2 run to steal the win on the road.
Other Anna scorers included Jaci Richardson (6), Tessa Hutto (4), Favor Abara (2), Avery Oonk (2) and Mikaela Gililland (2.)
C 4 11 11 17 43
A 7 14 4 14 39
12-3A Girls Basketball District Standings (through Jan. 7)
Melissa 1 0
Princeton 1 0
Anna 1 1
Community 1 1
Bonham 0 2
Bonham at Melissa
Princeton at Anna
BYE - Community