“Some teams think they can lock down one or two girls and that’s it, but were so unique because we have so many people that can all attack and score,” Robinson said. “This team doesn’t have a weakness because if one of us is off, there’s always another to pick them up."
Katy continues to find a way.
No matter the situation they find themselves in, no matter the circumstance, the Tigers have found a way to win.
The Tigers have ridden that fighting spirit through district and even through a weeklong break at Christmas. That fight was needed once again on Tuesday as Katy attempted to maintain its lead at the top of District 19-6A.
The Tigers found a way once again. Despite trailing after each of the first three quarters against Seven Lakes, Katy put together a strong fourth to finish the game 54-49 winners over the Spartans in a thrilling game that Katy knew would be a back and forth affair.
“From the beginning of the season we have known that the games against Tompkins and Seven Lakes would be battles,” said senior forward Lyric Barr. “We were ready coming into this game. We knew it would be tough to shut down the Carlton sisters but we knew if we played together we could beat them all as a team. We just played so together tonight and it made us better than any single player.”
It took every player from Katy both defensively and offensively. On offense, the Tigers pushed the ball in transition and tried to get on the fast break as much as possible. Defensively, it was all about helping each other, as Katy strayed away from their usual zone and went man to man to limit the length and size of both Justice and Madison Carlton for Seven Lakes.
“We knew that we would have to go man tonight with the post play that Seven Lakes has,” said Katy head coach Shanna Marhofer. “Justice is so good at finding those gaps in the zone and reading the game that we knew we couldn’t do that. We helped wherever we could on her but Brianna Nelson made Justice work for every single basket she got. Everyone knew their role and executed it. We pressured the guards, fronted the post, boxed out, it was a complete team effort.”
Seven Lakes led by six after the first quarter and by three at halftime. The Spartans lead was trimmed to two heading into the final quarter and that’s when the Tigers really started to take over, clamping down on defense and finding ways to score out on the break.
Katy seems to have different contributors every game and on Tuesday it was Ella Robinson who stepped up down the stretch, making two clutch baskets and scoring six of her 10 points in the final frame.
“She was so composed in such a big situation,” Marhofer said. “Ella is such a competitive kid and we recognized that she could get to the rim every possession that she wanted to. I was just telling her to read the situation and be aggressive going to the rim. She had an attack mentality and went at the rim, she finished so well around the rim tonight and played phenomenally.”
Katy had four players finish with double digit points, as Nyla Wold had 14 points, Barr had 12 points, Robinson had 10 and Nelson also finished with 10.
It was the Tigers 15th straight win on the year as they improve to 7-0 in district play. The Tigers face Taylor Friday before taking on Tompkins next Tuesday in a matchup that could potentially decide the district champion.
“Some teams think they can lock down one or two girls and that’s it, but were so unique because we have so many people that can all attack and score,” Robinson said. “This team doesn’t have a weakness because if one of us is off, there’s always another to pick them up. We’re so well rounded and that’s why we’re going to keep going.”
Katy 54, Seven Lakes 49
Points: (K) Nyla Wold 14; Lyric Barr 12, Ella Robinson 10, Brianna Nelson 10, Ashlynn Alexander 7; (SL) Justice Carlton 22, Madison Carlton 17, Caitlyn Quintero 4, Shreya Jategaonkar 4, Lenore Hudspeth 2;
Halftime: SL 23-20; 3-pointers: (K) Wold 2, Nelson, Alexander; Records: (K) 21-1, 7-0; (SL) 9-12, 3-4;
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