ANNA – Ponder’s Lady Lions, district-title contenders this year in 9-3A, powered by the Anna Lady Coyotes, 56-14, on Saturday, Nov. 12. The non-district game was Anna’s season-opener and Ponder’s second outing of the young campaign.

Utilizing a stifling defense and showing opportunistic offense flashes, the Lady Lions were never threatened in this one.

“I came into it with a lot of questions,” Lady Coyotes head coach Grant Bergman said. “And I came out of it with probably even more. Credits to coach (Greg) Gay. He’s certainly done a good job with his girls. … Their defensive IQ is really high and they did a good job of making us uncomfortable. With so many new varsity players, especially at the guard position, it was very obvious today that we were young, experience-wise. So we use it as a stepping stone, we watch film, we learn, we improve and we move on. The quicker you dispose of something like that, the better.”

Ponder stormed to an 11-0 lead before being answered by a nice rebound and put-back by Anna’s senior Savannah Kendall. The Lady Lions pushed their advantage to 14-4 by the end of the first quarter and led at halftime, 27-6. Still, Anna clawed late in the third stanza, as junior JaShell Evans grabbed a tough rebound and went back up for two points as the buzzer sounded.

Though disappointed, Bergman was able to find glimpses of silver linings.

“I was impressed by (guard) Madison Davis who didn’t start, but when she came in I didn’t get the feeling that the game was too big for her, or too fast,” he said. “She made some decisions that I liked. And I thought Savannah Kendall did some good things early as far as offensive rebounding and trying to be aggressive, even when she didn’t have the ball. Outside of that, I think all those girls will tell you the same thing — which is, ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do.’”