At times during the 32 minutes of play on Tuesday, the Brazosport Lady Explorers looked like they’d only had two basketball practices before their season opener against Channelview at E.E. Flash Walker Gym.
But even with only two practices, the good outshined the bad as the Lady Ships feasted on the Lady Falcons, 57-48.
“I am really excited because for the past two or three seasons we’ve been young, but we are not young anymore,” Brazosport coach Kayla Josey said. “I think that the girls are gelling, and for them to get this win makes them feel good, and I hope we can just build from this.”
Led by junior Aja Gore’s 16 points with six rebounds, the Lady Ships twice during the game had big runs and never trailed in the game.
In the first eight minutes the Lady Ships jumped out to 17-8 lead. Six players scored points but more importantly there were five assists, three by sophomore Janiaya Johnson, as team play helped them gain early control.
“It was good to see them smiling, because with two practices I heard all day in the halls today how nervous they were going in,” Josey said. “But we have such a solid group that they push each other to make each other better. I do believe it is going to be a good year for us, and it is going to be exciting to watch.”
With some sharp shooting from point guard Ariah Amos and De’Neshia Winslow, the Lady Falcons pulled within 18-15 starting the second period.
With 3:24 left before halftime, senior Mikaya Burton hit a floating 3-pointer that started an 11-0 run that sent the Lady Ships into the locker room ahead 29-15.
“Defensively, I think we need to get that going again just like we were at the end of last year, but we also need to work on that help defense,” Josey said. “A positive for us today were those runs that we had because of that quickness that we do have. Some of those glimpses were seen in this first half with Treanna (Johnson) and Janiaya (Johnson) connecting with Aja (Gore) on back-to-back fast breaks. Plus Aja just continues to develop for us, so she looked good tonight.”
If there was a stretch where the Lady Ships hurt themselves, it was the third period as they went 4-of-11 from the field with seven turnovers and were outscored 15-8.
With Brazosport leading by six points going into the final quarter, Gore and Simone Fuller each scored six points and Treanna Johnson added five as the Lady Ships held on for the nine-point victory.
Off the bench, Fuller pumped in 12 points, while Treanna Johnson scored 10 points with three steals and three assists.
Amos led Channelview (1-1) with 12 points, Winslow had 10, with eight of those points in the second half, and Angel Daniels scored all of her seven points in the final stanza.
Brazosport will head to the Spring Branch Tournament starting on Thursday.