Lady Jackets win at Rains

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It is no secret, Sabria Dean accounts for over 50% of the Lady Jackets’ scoresheet. If you add her assists and the impact of her opening up shots for teammates, that impact would be closer to 75%. Mineola’s 45-39 win at Rains High School Friday is a good example of what the dominating artistry of Dean will force opposing teams to do.

In the middle of a game which could have gone either way, the Rains Lady Cats attempted to neutralize Dean by trapping her whenever she took the ball to the wings. While this was somewhat successful, it offered Mineola quick backside reversals for open shots and lay-ups. 

These tactical shifts will largely decide how the Lady Jackets’ season will end. Recognizing the defensive tweaks designed to slow down Dean, and more importantly being able to exploit the gaps those actions produce, will determine Mineola’s future post-District 12-3A. 

For a quarter and a half the Lady Cats played dead even with the Lady Jackets. Midway through the second quarter the score stood 17-all.  Rains was exploiting their height advantage inside, and both teams were scoring at a good pace. Seven consecutive points by Dean and a slicing basket by Tahjae Black on a nice assist from Cyndi Butler gave Mineola a six-point advantage at the half. 

In order to counter the hosts’ inside height advantage, Coach Brad Gibson ordered a zone defense in the second half. The change worked; the Lady Cats offense stalled. 

The defensive change, taking advantage of the open back-side shots and a higher level of general activity combined to give the Lady Jackets a solid victory. Rains was never able to close within six points. When they threatened, Dean would answer, or a timely basket from Black, Meghan Brewington or Jaiden Gardner would ensue. 

Dean finished with 24 points and Black added 11. Brewington and Gardner combined for 10. The Lady Jackets will travel to Lone Oak on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

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