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Lady Bulldogs claim district runner-up spot

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021623 crockett girls bb

By Larry Lamb
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HUNTSVILLE — Two impressive road wins by the Crockett Lady Bulldogs locked up second place in District 23-3A.

After upending Tarkington 60-45 last Tuesday, Coach TaNesiah Johnson's squad knocked off New Waverly 78-44 in a tie-breaker game for the runner-up spot Saturday night in Huntsville.

Crockett faced East Bernard, District 24-3A's third place seed, Tuesday night in a bi-district double-header at Navasota. New Waverly and Boling, 24-3A runner-up, played in the night cap.

District champion Anderson (14-0) played Van Vleck in the first round and fourth-place Tarkington lost to Hitchcock 65-36 Monday night.

Crockett and New Waverly split in their first two district match-ups. The Lady Dogs won 50-47 at home but fell 57-53 in overtime on the road.

Johnson exhorted her players to leave it all on the court for the rematch with New Waverly.

"We played an awesome game. The girls laid it all on the line," said Johnson after the victory that secured second place. "I kept telling them, 'you have nothing to save for. I must give you Sunday off to rest, and Monday is practice only, so therefore, please just give me all you've got. This is a team that we should have beaten on the road, but we didn't, so now we have to show that we should have."

The Lady Bulldogs led 17-8 after a quarter, 32-22 at the break and 52-34 at the end of three. New Waverly would get no closer as Crockett dominated the final period 26-10.

Senior Tocarra Johnson led with 30 points after coming off a 42-point game that propelled her over the 1,000 point career milestone.

Junior Naomi Taylor followed with an impressive 23 points, sophomore Tania Davis had 11 and senior La'Kyriah Hamilton chipped in 9. A'Nayah Wooten had 3 and Ty'Reyanna Beasley added 2.

"I always say that in order for us to win we must have three scorers in double digits, and we got it done," the coach said.

Johnson noted that in typical Lady Bulldog fashion, her team got off to a shaky start. "I think at this point they like giving me a headache, but we regrouped. I reminded the ladies that they are the better team, so someone needed to step up and be a leader."

By halftime, Tocarra Johnson had 15 points and duplicated her contribution in the second half.

"From there, we got the ball rolling and had some really great defensive stops," said the coach, noting that the Lady Dogs shot well at the charity stripe in the first half, knocking down 9 of 16.

"The fouls were on our side. It was a 10-1 foul count in our favor, so that shows how well our defense came ready to work," said Johnson. "Overall, we played like a true well-rounded team. There is always room for improvement, but the ladies dug deep and gave beyond what was asked of them."
"If you would have asked me how do you score 78 points against a tough team, I'd have to say, "We had the fire, intensity and heart to get it done.

Our motto this year is 'Build With Trust, Lead With Confidence, Play With Heart'. They trusted each other, played with confidence and played with heart! What more could I ask for?" the coach said.

 Johnson was appreciative of the fan support Saturday. "Our fans were great. They showed us huge support and cheered us on from the beginning to the final buzzer," she said.

The Lady Bulldogs picked up a crucial win over Tarkington last Tuesday to keep pace with New Waverly.

"It was an amazing game. We started off so-so but then we finally put it in gear and played like we knew how," said Johnson.

Crockett led 16-7 after a quarter, but Tarkington hit several treys in the second to match Crockett's 13 points and hold the lead to 29-20 at halftime.

The Lady Bulldogs won the third quarter 16-7 for a 45-27 lead but were outscored 18-15 in the final frame.

"We stepped up on defense and got it going. As I always preach, if we take care of defense, offense will come natural and it truly did," said Johnson.

Starting the game just 23 points shy of 1,000 career points, Tocarra Johnson achieved two scoring milestones. She poured in a whopping 42 points that set a new single game career high while pushing her past 1,000 career points.

Johnson also cleaned up on the glass for 19 rebounds. "She took the leadership role and just did major damage in scoring and rebounding for a double-double," noted the coach.

Tania Davis had 7 and Taylor chipped in 6.

"I'm extremely proud of these ladies. They have worked hard all season and it showed in our last district game as we tied for second place," Johnson said.

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