CALLISBURG – In an up and down week, Anna’s Lady Coyotes posted a solid road win over Class 5A Dallas Woodrow Wilson but suffered a disappointing setback at the hands of Callisburg’s Class 3A Lady Cats. The results balanced Anna’s early non-district record at 3-3.
Friday’s affair in the quiet northeastern Cooke County outpost of Callisburg, population 373, perhaps resembled the slow pace of its environs – or maybe a scoring Twilight Zone descended upon the near-empty gymnasium. Either way, few shots found the net for most of this contest - including just one in the second quarter. Among other oddities in Lady Cats’ 34-29 win: Callisburg prevailed though scoring no points in the second quarter; the Lady Cats endured a 15-minute stretch of game clock with no field goals, and Anna nearly won despite missing at least seven layups.
It was simply “one of those nights.”
The mostly smaller-statured Lady Cats, who depend on 3-point shooting, ran hot and cold but in the end, they were warm enough to pull out the win. Anna struggled offensively most of the night before rallying impressively for late leads of 28-26 and 29-28. But from there, two crucial turnovers helped kill any hopes of a Lady Coyotes victory.
Displeased Anna head coach Justin Baldia had one comment after the game: “We’ve got to execute better.” Said Callisburg head coach Robert Payne, “Both teams, I think, were just cold the whole night. Everybody missed a lot of opportunities to get after it. I got really worried when Anna came after us right there at the end. If they had played like that the whole game we’d have been in big, big trouble. We rely on 3s and I think they did a good job of shutting that down. We got hot for a little bit and kind of separated but then we got cold again. That’s some of the danger of living with the 3, but that’s what we do. It could have gone either way at the end.”
Jessie Payne posted a game-high 17 points for the Lady Cats while Lexi Stewart and Qua Fisher led Anna with eight points each. The win improved Callisburg’s record to 2-8.
The Lady Cats jumped on top, 10-4, in the first stanza with a boost from two 3-pointers. Fisher’s layup off a Hannah Howell’s steal closed out the frame with Anna down, 11-6. After Stewart’s put-back layup two minutes into the second quarter, both teams’ shooting went dormant for the rest of the half. The lone bucket had the Lady Coyotes trailing, 11-8, at the break.
In the third quarter, a spin-move layup by Howell drew Anna to within 12-10 but the Lady Cats soon regained their 3-point touch. Back-to-back treys after two Callisburg free throws sent the lead to 20-10 before one could say, “There’s really no place to eat here?’” The first 3 in this pair was the Lady Cats’ first field goal since 2:30 remained in the first quarter. Two Stewart free throws made it 20-12 before the end of the frame.
Prior to the fourth quarter, Baldia challenged his team to grab the momentum and pull out the win - and they almost did. Bre Traylor opened the period with a swished 3 from the left front and Marianna Bert soon drove the lane for a layup to keep the deficit at five, 22-17. The Lady Cats were picking up the pace as well and led, 24-17, when Stewart took it to the hoop for two more. Traylor’s put-back layup had Anna within 26-21 with 4:50 left and Fisher’s rebound and drive for a jumper soon cut the lead to 26-23. After a Callisburg timeout, Stewart grabbed a steal and fired the ball to Fisher who fed Traylor for a layup - and the Lady Cats’ advantage was one.
Anna’s comeback was complete after Stewart deflected a pass to Fisher who was fouled and sank the tying free throw. Knotted at 26-26, a steal by Howell led to two more charity-stripe buckets, this time from Redwine, and with 3:27 left the Lady Coyotes led 28-26. A Callisburg jumper tied it once more before Howell’s free throw gave Anna its last lead, 29-28, with 1:30 left to play. The Lady Cats struck back with an easy layup to go up by one then, with under 30 seconds remaining, Anna’s chance to regain the lead ended on a dribbling violation. With 21 ticks left and trailing 32-29, the Lady Coyotes’ final opportunity was lost on a pass out of bounds. Callisburg finished it off with two more free throws.
In Anna’s 54-46 win over Woodrow Wilson in Dallas on Nov. 27, Traylor pumped in 12 points to lead the Lady Coyotes and Redwine followed with nine. Anna broke open a tie game in the fourth quarter with a 20-12 surge to the finish. The Lady Coyotes led, 25-22, at halftime but Wilson had knotted things at 34-all by the end of three frames.
Anna 15 10 9 20 - 54
Wilson 10 12 12 12 - 46
Anna scoring: Bre Traylor 12, Kaycee Redwine 9, Skyla Mackey 8, Qua Fisher 8, Hannah Howell 6, Lexi Stewart 6, Marianna Bert 5.
Anna 6 2 4 17 - 29
Callisburg 11 0 9 14 - 32
Anna scoring: Lexi Stewart 8, Qua Fisher 8, Hannah Howell 5, Bre Traylor 4, Marianna Bert 2, Kaycee Redwine 2.