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Fast start propels Lady Cats

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A.J. Pinkert gets the layup.A.J. Pinkert gets the layup.

By Brian Besch

The Onalaska girls are unbeaten after three games, with their latest win a 69-31 score over the Goodrich Lady Hornets Tuesday by the lake.

The Lady Cats play a pressing style of defense that provided a 15-0 start.

“It is a different group and we are not very big,” Onalaska coach Doug Boone said of his girls. “We don’t really have any size, but we are just really quick. We are shooting the ball much better and with confidence now. Any one of them can stop and try to drop it. We are really pushing the whole factor about speeding up the game and making it faster. If you have the open shot, you take the open shot.”

Goodrich scored just four pints in the opening period, but had 17 at the half. They trailed by 24 at the break to the larger school.

“I just told them that they did real well, considering the amount of time that they’ve had to even get on the floor,” Goodrich coach Pinellafie Johnson said. “We haven’t had time to run up and down the court, this is our first time to do it. They did a good job. I told them that we need to stop standing around and rebound the ball. The ball is right there and we’re trying to stand on our toes and get it. I realize that we are not in shape yet, but we have to get there. I told them to keep their head up. I see the things we need to work on and we are going to improve on it. I also told them that they need to work on handling the ball, all of them.”

The game Tuesday was Goodrich’s first after just two practices. The Lady Hornets will face plenty of Class 2A and 3A teams throughout its non-district schedule. It will make for a difficult run, but should have the girls very prepared once they enter district play.

“We haven’t had time to work on what we need to work on, but we saw what we need to do for tonight,” Johnson said. “We have Trinity coming up, Diboll, Lufkin JV and New Waverley. They are all big schools, but it can help us get better, as long as we get better and not play the same game.”

Onalaska’s defense performed well in the second half, holding the Lady Hornets to single digits in each quarter.

“This is the kind of win we should have expected, but they work hard and they didn’t give up, so that was good,” Boone said. “We are 3-0 right now. We beat Groveton and beat Hardin.

“The press has been good for me wherever I have been at. We showed a different one tonight, so they really picked it up and did it well. I have some kids that worked out this summer and did their diligence, like Faith Tyerman. It is showing up, and she can stand in the corner and is deadly. I hate to say it is automatic, but it is close to it. She is shooting with crazy confidence right now. That hard work is what we need. Mary Joy (Cariaga) is playing at a really good level. The only thing that we talked about is that we are so aggressive, which is what you want, but you have to play it with intelligence too. You can’t play it out of control. It is just the third game, so we will continue honing that.”

Tyerman had 18 points, all on 3-pointers to lead all scores. A.J. Pinkert had 13, Kayla Houser 12 and Cariaga 11. For Goodrich, Latrina Morgan had 17 points and Arly Balbuena had six.

“These kids love playing with each other and for each other,” Boone said. “I’m not saying the other kids did not, but it is the second year, so they go through the whole process. Some of them decide that they don’t want to do this and some of them will say that they are definitely in.”

Onalaska will host Elkhart Friday, while Goodrich will take part in the Shepherd tournament Thursday through Saturday.

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