Katy High ran into basketball’s version of a perfect storm on Monday, Feb. 17, in its Class 6A bi-district playoff game against Fort Bend Bush.
Katy High ran into basketball’s version of a perfect storm on Monday in its Class 6A bi-district playoff game against Fort Bend Bush.
The Broncos, the No. 3 seed out of District 20-6A, earned an impressive, start-to-finish 54-39 win over the No. 2-seed Tigers, using phenomenal shooting to roll to a win at Paetow High. Bush connected on 12 of 27 3-pointers, a 44.4 percent clip, as four players made at least two or more 3s.
The Tigers end their season at 16-14 overall. Bush improved to 20-13.
“They have four kids that can shoot,” Katy coach Shanna Marhofer said. “We watched five videos on them, and they weren’t that hot—all of them. They had a couple kids that could score with every touch each game we had on them, but not all were hitting. One kid, I didn’t see score at all, and she was tonight. It was a good night for them.”
Bush jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led 15-6 after the first quarter. The Broncos built their advantage to 13 points in the second quarter, but Katy cut its deficit to eight at the half by forcing six turnovers in the second period.
Bush, however, opened the second half like it started the first, on a 5-0 spree to push its lead to 34-21. It was never threatened the rest of the way.
“They’re fast, they’re athletic, they drive-and-kick well,” Marhofer said. “We threw four different defenses at them. It didn’t matter what we did. They were hitting from well behind the 3 at every spot.”
Arianna Sturdivant hit 4 of 9 3-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points. Skiahla Chalmers added 11 points on 3-of-9 from 3. Da’Jah Vigilante was 3-of-6 from deep, and Kache Mcgruder hit 2-of-3 triples off the bench.
Bush hit 7 of 15 3s in the first half and 5 of 12 in the second. With the Broncos’ sharpshooting, the Tigers were unable to force turnovers to turn into easy transition points.
Bush committed just 14 turnovers, and only five in the first half.
“We struggled to get stops, and so much of our game is getting stops on defense that transfers to offense,” Marhofer said. “That put some damper on what we were trying to get done. Add that we were struggling to score—we missed a ton of layups—and they were 44 percent from the 3-point line, and we weren’t anywhere close to that.”
The Tigers made just 5 of 21 3-pointers.
Katy senior guard Allana Thompson led all scorers with 20 points. Senior post Joy Jegede added eight points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Junior forward Aubrey Ridenhour scored eight points and was crucial early in keeping the Tigers in contention.
Thompson added six rebounds and four assists. The Prairie View A&M signee attacked throughout the game, earning 10 free-throw attempts.
“Allana’s been with us for four years and has come a long way, not just as a player but as a person maturity-wise,” Marhofer said. “I know she’s going to go on and do phenomenal things at Prairie View.”
Marhofer also commended the leadership of fellow seniors Jegede, Emma Ortega and Lauren Keller for their significant roles in what was a “drama-free” season.
“That’s always a blessing as a coach,” Marhofer said.
The Tigers will return eight players from this year’s team, including starters Sasha Fernandez, Asya May and Ridenhour.
“Making the playoffs is always a goal we have, but being a part of our program, the expectation is to make a run in the playoffs,” Marhofer said. “I’m hoping they can feed off their desire, as far as wanting to win games in the playoffs. It’ll be something we talk about a lot in the offseason. We’ll be back.”