ANNA – Sanger’s Lady Indians used a 16-0 second-quarter run to take charge of their contest at Anna on Jan. 22 then rolled on to win, 51-40. On Friday, the Lady Coyotes bounced back with a 62-49 victory at Gainesville, led by 18 points from forward Bre Traylor. The results left Anna (2-5) one game back of fourth-place Celina in the District 11-4A race with three games left to play.


Versus Sanger, Anna head coach Justin Baldia’s charges scored better than in these teams’ first meeting on Jan. 4 - a 33-11 Lady Coyotes loss — they still struggled to put points on the board, posting a two-point second quarter to trail, 30-12, at the break.


The Lady Indians hit no outside shots at all — but didn’t really need to. Chloe Malone, who missed Sanger’s first game with Anna due to injury, powered home 17 points, including eight layups. Sarah Burk, starting for an injured post player, and added 13 points for the Lady Indians - all coming inside as well, save for one free throw.


“I think No. 15 [Malone] Euro-stepped around every single one of our players — at least twice,” Baldia said. “They’re a very good team. They’re well-coached, they’re fundamental basketball players. They scored, took care of the ball - and we didn’t tonight. We gave them too many easy opportunities. When you turn the ball over at mid-court — make them only have to play fast-break — it makes it difficult to put yourself in a successful position. Not to say Sanger didn’t deserve to win, but we didn’t help our cause any.”


Said Sanger head coach Derek Hilliard, “One thing I feel like we’re kind of missing is consistent outside shooting, so our goal is to get the ball inside and work it around and get good shots. I think we did that tonight. … We’ve struggled scoring in transition. We’d get a lot of opportunities but we didn’t always convert. We did a good job with that [tonight]. And the first time we played Anna, their press really hurt us, especially in the first half. But I thought we did a good job beating their press.”


For Anna, Traylor logged a team-high nine points and guard Marianna Bert punched in eight. The Lady Coyotes did stage a fourth-quarter rally, outscoring Sanger, 20-15, with seven points from guard Skyla Mackey and five from Bert. In fact, Anna won the second half, 27-20. “I love the way we came out in the fourth quarter,” Baldia said, “hitting shots, being aggressive. We’ve got to have that intensity, that mentality, for four quarters.”


Early on, Sanger built a 12-2 lead as Lady Coyotes shots wouldn’t fall. Anna forward Hannah Howell finally broke through with a layup and soon fed inside to Lexi Stewart who was fouled. Stewart’s two free throws made it 12-6 with 1:20 left in the first quarter. When Bert swished home a 3-pointer the deficit was three and, after a Lady Indian bucket, Qua Fisher’s free throw cut Sanger’s margin to 14-10 after one. Down that first frame’s final stretch, the Lady Coyotes forced Sanger into two back-court turnovers.


To open the second frame, Traylor’s steal and coast-to-coast layup got Anna within two points, but that’s where things went south for the purple-and-white-clad hosts. Six Lady Indian steals would spark their decisive 16-0 run as Anna missed on four 3-pointers.


Down 18 to start the third stanza, the Lady Coyotes rallied to trail, 30-19, fueled by steals from Howell and Kaycee Redwine. But five-straight Sanger points kept the Lady Coyotes at bay, 35-19, at the quarter expired.


In the fourth, Bert took a steal all the way for 2 and Mackey nabbed another — capping that possession with a right-side trey — and Anna trailed, 36-24. Mackey’s jumper in the lane and a put-back layup by Traylor then got the Lady Coyotes back to within 11, 41-30, midway through the stanza. Anna kept hope alive with Bert’s 3 off the glass for a 44-33 deficit but the Lady Indians’ lead was soon 13 points with under a minute left. The Lady Coyotes’ final field goal - a Redwine left-corner 3 - made it 48-38 with 39 seconds left.


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Sanger 14 16 5 15 - 50


Anna 10 2 7 20 - 39


Anna scoring - Bre Traylor 9, Marianna Bert 8, Skyla Mackey 7, Hannah Howell 6, Kaycee Redwine 5, Lexi Stewart 2, Qua Fisher 2.


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Anna 5 25 23 10 - 62


Gainesville 13 9 15 12 - 49


Anna scoring – Bre Traylor 18, Kaycee Redwine 11, Qua Fisher 10, Hannah Howell 8, Marianna Bert 7, Skyla Mackey 5, Shelby Dombrowski 3.