Mineola has little trouble with Liberty-Eylau

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The Mineola Lady Jackets turned in one of their best efforts of the year in a 55-34 New Year’s Eve win over the visiting Lady Leopards of Liberty-Eylau. Stand-out performer Sabria Dean chalked up 31 points and scored in practically every way possible. 

The Lady Jackets took a quarter to warm up and find their shooting range. An evenly-played first quarter of action saw the visitors up 11-7. Once the home side got a good sweat worked up, it all clicked for them. An inside score by Tiara Stephens on an assist from Tahjae Black got the Lady Jackets moving. A nice basket by Black off of an inbound play tied the score. 

In quick succession Dean poured in three scores on two drives and a short jumper to put Mineola up by six points. The Lady Jackets never looked back. Mineola outscored Liberty-Eylau 14-2 in the second quarter. 

There was no let-down in the second half. Mineola opened as much as a 23-point lead. Dean assailed the basket and scored with baseline drives, jumpers, down the lane, from the left side, the right side and beyond the arc. Her ability to push the ball, place extreme pressure on the defense and either create a shot or issue an assist was a joy to watch.

The Lady Jackets really did not play conventional offense and defense last Tuesday. They pressured the ball when they did not have it and pressured the defense when they did have possession. The players did not transition into different modes; they simply played hard without pause.

The starting five of Black, Meghan Brewington, Cyndi Butler, Dean and Stephens appeared to be working well. When needed, seniors Alyssa Cannon and Kelsey Brewington and junior Jaiden Gardner platooned in as able substitutes.    

If the tempo at which Mineola finished is an indicator of Coach Gibson’s plan to “play every second hard,” the Lady Jackets are ready for district and beyond.

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