It was a tale of two halves Monday at McKinney High School.
The McKinney High girls basketball team could do no wrong the first 16 minutes.
It was the second half, however, that did in MHS, as Lewisville used a strong fourth-quarter surge to defeat McKinney 44-42.
“I think it was a good learning experience for us,” MHS basketball coach Debbie Harris said.
Harris said her girls played well in the first half, doing a great job blocking out and being patient with the offense, mostly funneling the ball inside to either Jazmin Nelson or Mariah Mitchell.
McKinney (2-2) would take a 23-11 lead into the half, outscoring Lewisville 7-2 in the second quarter.
But as the game continued and Lewisville began to pressure McKinney in the half court, Harris said her team began to tire, make mental mistakes and “panic” on offense while giving up rebounds and not boxing out.
“It’s just something we battle. We don’t play a whole lot of kids a whole lot of time,” Harris said. “We have a small group that plays most of our minutes, so I think that’s just the process we’ve got to work through.”
The Farmers outscored MHS 33-19 in the second half, and scored 19 points in the third quarter.
And once McKinney began to wear down, Lewisville took advantage, pressuring MHS in the half court to force several turnovers and poor passes down the stretch, especially in the fourth quarter.
Harris said Lewisville is a very athletic team, and was surprised the Farmers didn’t pressure McKinney more, but noted Lewisville (5-2) did a great job utilizing its skills and hitting some huge shots down the stretch.
Lewisville’s Monisha Neal continually hit shots from the outside, scoring 18 of her 20 points in the second half.
Neal hit the decisive shot with 40 seconds left in the game.
“The last shot she hit, she was four feet passed the three-point line,” said Harris, who added she thought the shot was defended well, as McKinney had a defender in her face.
McKinney would still have a chance to win it, however, but Nelson missed an open layup with 7 seconds left. Nelson would finish the game with 15 points.
Mitchell led MHS with 19 points and Mika Stuts added 5 points.
McKinney has split its first four games at 2-2, and Harris knows moving forward her team will need to play smarter, and be in perfect position against opponents
“That’s just something we’ve got to deal with, so we’ve got to play smarter and play smart every single possession,” Harris said.
McKinney will return to the court Thursday when the participate in the Allen Eagle Hoopfest at Allen High School, and will return to MHS Monday when they host John Paul III at 6:30 p.m.
Video provided by Karen Zupanic.