WEST COLUMBIA — Pressure defense continued to be the key for the second day of Lady ’Neck basketball, guiding Columbia to a 1-1 record Saturday.
“We full-court press as much as we can,” head Columbia Lady Roughneck basketball coach Brett Nidey said. “Our girls are starting to notice how we wear down other teams in the second half, and it lets us create more turnovers and less shots for the other team.”
Columbia (4-1) lost to the Fulshear Lady Chargers 51-20 and beat the Stafford Lady Spartans 48-43 in the Robert “Bob” Ducroz Memorial Basketball Tournament in West Columbia, placing second behind Fulshear.
It was an injury-riddled loss for the Lady ’Necks against Fulshear as leading scorer junior Kirsten Bragg left the game five minutes in with a pulled groin. Add in other starter Kate Condra, who hit her head on the hardwood and was held out the rest of the game, and the Lady Roughnecks couldn’t wear Fulshear down in the second half.
“Fulshear is a decent team; they were able to handle our pressure pretty well and we had some injuries that that kept girls out for most of the game,” Nidey said. “We did get (Jamoryai) Butler back for this game, which is good. She gives us power and experience on the inside.”
Butler led the team with seven points and six rebounds, showing why her inside presence is a key factor for the Lady ‘Necks as she made 2 of 4 shots from the field.
That was one of the bright spots for the Lady ‘Necks as they weren’t efficient offensively, shooting 5 of 28 from the field overall, a mere 18 percent.
Things turned around for Lady Roughnecks in their second game of the day.
COLUMBIA 48, STAFFORD 43
The Lady Roughnecks outlasted the Lady Spartans in a game that showed what Columbia is capable of doing on the offensive end against previously unbeaten Stafford.
“We started off slow like the first game, we only had 11 points at the half, but we turned up the intensity of our press in the second half and were able to create more opportunities,” Nidey said.
Those opportunities were clear as Bragg had a game-high 19 points on 8-of-25 shooting with 11 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Butler contributed 13 points and six rebounds.
The Columbia press had its way with the Lady Spartans, forcing 20 turnovers with 18 steals.
Columbia’s next game will be against the Boling Lady Bulldogs at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, at Boling in the main gym.