LIVINGSTON -- The Doyle girls basketball team got exactly what it needed in its final game of its own tournament Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers built a big early lead on the way to a 66-25 win over East Jefferson at Doyle for their second straight win in the tournament.
“It was a good game for us to have at this point in the season,” White said after the Lady Tigers went 0-3 in the Hathaway Tournament over the weekend with losses to Hathaway, Grand Lake and Jennings. “I told them after the Hathaway Tournament that we were basically just going to restart the season. That was a hard start to a season. The Hathaway Tournament had nothing but good teams, really good basketball teams. We played the best of the best up there, which is great. We got to see that. I think that’s a great learning experience because we’re super young, so it’s good to come back home, take what we kind of learned from there and be able to grow from that and do a good job the last two nights. That’s important. We make some lumps along the way, but it’s important to do that early and grow from it. We’re OK with doing that early. As long as we’re improving from game to game, that’s what’s super important to us right now.”
Doyle’s fast start was keyed by an 18-4 run in the first quarter in which the Lady Tigers hit four 3-pointers two from Kay Kay Savant and one each from Kassidy Rivero and Kylee Savant.
“We told them just relax and shoot the ball when you’re open,” White said. “You don’t have to rush it. It’ll come to you. We did a good job with ball movement right at the beginning, and we did hit some open shots. We were able to turn them over in the backcourt, which is super important for us. When we have that clicking, we look like a pretty good basketball team.”
The Lady Tigers (2-4) stretched the lead in the second quarter as White began going to her bench.
“We’ve had a couple of injuries here recently, and you don’t know when that’s going to happen,” White said. “You don’t know when people are going to get into foul trouble, so any time you can get other girls in, especially early, and let them play when the game matters, that’s important because they get to feel what that feels like, and I have a bunch of girls that are all about the same I’d say. That’s a good problem to have. It’s a constant battle of who wants to play more at practice that kind of gets to play more. That’s always good to have competitive practices, and we’re not scared to play them. We’ll run you in and out. It doesn’t bother us.”
Kylie Lutz scored six and Kylee Savant added five in the second quarter as Doyle led 33-11 at halftime.
Doyle didn’t let up in the third quarter as Kylee Savant scored 11 points, including a 3-pointer, pushing the lead to 53-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kylee Savant, who led Doyle with 23 points, including three 3-pointers, said the relaxed approach to shooting paid off for the Lady Tigers.
“We played hard,” she said. “What we do now, just swing the ball. The first shot you get, you take it, and if you don’t hit it, let’s rebound. We just went with it. We just kind of shot the ball. It is what it is. It helps a lot just for us just to go out there and play basketball. That’s what we need to do. Coach Sam told us to relax, and that’s what we did tonight, and we shot the ball well.”
Rivero and Kay Kay Savant each had nine points.
Bailey McLin scored four points in the fourth quarter and got a steal and assist on a bucket by Maddie White to push the lead to 57-20 as every player on the Doyle roster got playing time.
Bella Ferguson hit a pair of free throws to make the score 63-23 with 1:43 to play before McLin’s basket accounted for the final margin.
“I think they did well,” White said of the performance of her younger players. “When they come off the bench, I tell them it’s important when you come off the bench to light a fire or do something good, and I thought the ones that came off the bench did that. It’s good to be able to sub and not miss much of a beat, and that’s what we want to do. We want to get a lot of them playing time when we can and just kind of grow with that. My dream would be to play like 10 people. That would be amazing. Now, will that happen? I don’t know, but that’s a good goal to have, I feel like.”
DOYLE 42, NORTH PIKE, MISS. 34
Doyle held North Pike to single digits in the first and fourth quarters to spark the win.
Kylee Savant scored 16 to lead the Lady Tigers, while Kay Kay Savant had nine and Rivero and Taylor each had eight.