LIVINGSTON – The Doyle girls basketball team has played true team basketball to become the No. 1 team in the Class 2A power rankings.
That didn’t stop in the Lady Tigers’ District 10-2A opener against St. Helena Central with Doyle getting contributions from all its key players in a 58-39 win Tuesday.
“Everyone had to kind of play tonight because no one had just a breakout game,” Doyle coach Sam White said. “It was all of us together, which is how we want to play anyway.
“St. Helena’s improved so much, and it was a good win. It was. They’ve done a good job this year. They really have.”
St. Helena capitalized on Doyle's turnovers to fuel a 7-1 run to start the game.
“It was us,” Doyle’s Elise Jones said of the team’s slow start. “We didn’t play like we usually play. Not aggressive enough. Just being lazy, and we saw that, and coach Sam saw that too, so she made us aware of that, and then once we got it going, everyone knew that we got our (stuff) together.”
From there, Doyle (21-2, 1-0) started to settle in as Meghan Watson’s free throws and a pair of baskets from Presleigh Scott tied the score at 7-7.
“They had a little run, but good teams are going to have runs, and you have to be able to adjust to that and make sure their run doesn’t turn into something that’s detrimental to what it is you’re trying to do,” White said.
The Lady Hawks grabbed a pair of two-point leads – the last at 11-9 – before Scott nailed a 3-pointer to give the Lady Tigers a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Scott finished with a game-high 22 points, 10 of which came in the first quarter.
“They went up, and I try to remain calm and basically let us relax and get into a groove that we feel comfortable with, and it did take us a little while, it totally did,” White said. “But I wanted them to figure it out.”
The early stages of the second quarter featured two lead changes before Doyle turned three straight St. Helena turnovers into a 3-pointer by Sydney Taylor, a put back by Scott and a layup from Jones. Wheat tacked on a put back, capping a run that put the Lady Tigers ahead, 24-13.
“At the beginning I had some little jitters, but Presleigh helped me out with that,” said Jones, who struggled from the floor early before scoring nine of her 15 points in the second quarter. “She helped me calm down, and I guess it paid off in the end.”
Sa’Rya Travis, who led St. Helena with 10 points, nailed a 3-pointer, but Jones scored seven points in a 9-0 run to close out the first half, giving Doyle a 33-16 halftime lead.
Taylor took over to start the third quarter, scoring all the points in a 7-4 burst, including a 3-pointer, which stretched the lead to 40-20. Taylor scored 11 of her 15 points in the second quarter.
Doyle led 48-29 going in the fourth quarter and padded the lead thanks to its transition game. Scott’s free throws made the score 56-30 before St. Helena chipped into the lead, closing the game with a 9-2 burst.
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