Katy High School, Tigers, Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas girls high school basketball, Katy ISD

Katy tops Taylor in early 19-6A showdown

By STEPHEN GREENWELL, Times Correspondent
Posted 12/20/19

While a 17-point fourth quarter lead and 26 points from Katy senior Allana Thompson were too much for Taylor to overcome, the Mustangs showed impressive resolve on Friday, Dec. 20, battling back to cut the deficit to five before falling 61-54 in a District 19-6A affair.

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Katy High School, Tigers, Taylor High School, Mustangs, Texas girls high school basketball, Katy ISD

Katy tops Taylor in early 19-6A showdown

Posted

While a 17-point fourth quarter lead and 26 points from Katy senior Allana Thompson were too much for Taylor to overcome, the Mustangs showed impressive resolve on Friday, Dec. 20, battling back to cut the deficit to five before falling 61-54 in a District 19-6A affair.

It was the district opener for Katy, which improved to 9-9 overall. Taylor dropped to 1-1 in district play, 7-9 overall.

It was a choppy and chippy game for both teams as whistles were frequent. Taylor shot 36 free throws and Katy shot 40, with Thompson making it to the line for 22 attempts. She also was a key source of intensity on the Tigers’ press, and played the top of a 1-2-2 zone in the defensive halfcourt.

When Taylor defenders keyed in on her, Thompson passed to open teammates. The Tigers hit eight 3-point shots, with junior Aubrey Ridenhour hitting four and finishing with 12 points.

“Allana did a good job of attacking and getting us there, and Aubrey obviously shot well,” Katy coach Shanna Marhofer said. “I felt like our team play, especially in the first half of sharing the ball and getting one more pass, was really good, and I love watching that.”

Katy led by 15 after the first half and held a 10-point lead for most of that time, thanks to the press. Taylor struggled to get good looks, finishing with only three field goals in the first half and six through three quarters. Junior Dominique Lombard was one of the few bright spots in the opening half with nine points, finishing with 11.

However, while the press led to easy buckets for Katy, it also repeatedly sent the Mustangs to the free-throw line, especially in the second quarter. As the game wore on, Marhofer said she had to call it off because of the foul trouble her starters were in.

“We generally feed off of our press, and it does a lot of good things for us as far as the intensity level on defense goes,” she said. “But if we’re fouling them a lot and putting them on the free-throw line, bailing them out like we were, we have to take it off.”

The Mustangs trailed by 17 after a 3-pointer by Ridenhour with seven minutes left, but the insertion of sophomore Sheridan Shaw and junior Deborah Imeh seemed to give Taylor a jolt of energy. With about 4:30 left, Taylor went on a 9-0 run, pulling within 56-49 and forcing a Katy timeout with 2:41 remaining.

It looked like Taylor would narrow the gap even more after a pair of missed free throws by Katy, but Thompson had a steal and passed to junior Asya May for a layup. Buckets by Imeh and senior Danielle St. Denis narrowed Katy’s lead to five with about 1:30 to play, but the Mustangs didn’t box out Thompson on the ensuing Katy possession. She had an easy put-back to give Katy a seven-point lead with 1:10 left, and the Mustangs didn’t make another field goal in the final minute.

St. Denis led the Mustangs with 12 points, eight in the final quarter.

Taylor coach Blair Ary noted that she has a young roster, and it played well once it adjusted to the speed of the game. The Mustangs start a freshman at point guard in Micah Elegores, with Shaw also logging heavy minutes against Katy.

“When we settled down and executed, we played a lot better, but it was a matter of adjusting to it because we don’t see it every day,” Ary said of the pace. “We don’t play that way. What they do is different from what we do, so it was definitely a different look for us.”

Elegores finished with 10 points, but had to function as a facilitator instead of a scorer for much of the night as Thompson used her length to smother shot attempts.

“Micah did a really good job,” Ary said. “She’s a really calm kid, outside of basketball and throughout her daily life, she’s just calm, and that’s really good for us.”

Imeh had six points and Shaw had five, with all of the scoring for both coming in the fourth quarter.

“They came in and gave us a big boost of energy, and I think they did a phenomenal job,” Ary said. “We’re young, and I think our kids are learning, and you can see it through the game.”

Going forward, Ary said a key for the team will be establishing how it wants to play instead of letting the opponent dictate things.

“We just keep preaching to them, ‘Play the way we want to play,’” she said. “I think we fell into playing Katy’s tempo and how Katy wanted to play the basketball game. We were trying to go fast, and run up and down the floor with them, and that’s just not how we play.”

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