Mineola turns over Quitman
The Mineola Lady Jackets forced 20 first half turnovers from the visiting Quitman Lady Bulldogs and cruised to a 78-17 win Friday. Mineola ran the full court press for the first quarter and a half at which point they had vaulted to a 40-0 lead.
Sabria Dean had her way up and down the court. She led the team with 27 points. Long-range shooting specialist Cyndi Butler added 20 points, mostly from beyond the arc. Eight Lady Jackets made entries on the scorecard.
For Mineola, the evolution of their game since season start has been one of gradual improvement. Weaknesses are addressed game-to-game; new plays, especially in-bound plays and spot-up shooting plays, have been added weekly; Coach Brad Gibson is building the kit that the Lady Jackets will need in the playoffs.
Having come off an emotional win last week against Alba-Golden, the Lady Bulldogs never got out of the gate. They were limited to six shots in the first half as they fought against the Jacket press. In the second half Quitman was able to work the ball in the offensive zone, but the game had overwhelmed them. Reiny Luman, Maddy Whitehurst, Madyson Pence and Shelby Hayes scored for Quitman. Ava Burroughs did not suit up.
The Lady Jackets are beginning to feel as if this might be a special season. A balance between Dean’s scoring and Dean’s playmaking is forming. Defensively, the Lady Jackets are playing sound positional basketball and have curbed the early season tendency to defend with their hands.
The most critical aspect of Mineola’s game may well be rebounding and how to counter teams which are much taller than them. Tiara Stephens and Tahjae Black have both improved significantly through the course of the season in their rebounding skill. Kelsey Brewington is also seeing more action in the lane.
The future looks bright for the Lady Jackets.