“It was not our best performance, for sure,” Lionettes head coach Debbie Harris said.
The Lionettes (5-3) had won three of their past four games at the Allen HoopFest Tournament over the weekend. On Monday, however, they could not contain the Lady Cardinals’ power on the glass, as John Paul controlled the game from the lane. And without the injured Mariah Mitchell, MHS had no answer offensively. Harris said Mitchell pulled her hamstring in McKinney’s final game of the Allen Tournament against Mesquite West, and is expected to miss one to three weeks.
Harris said her ballclub is a totally different team without Mitchell, who signed with the University of Arkansas two weeks ago. That’s because Mitchell drew attention on the offensive end, which opened up opportunities for her teammates.
In her absence everyone will need to step up and “carry a little more weight,” Harris said, with the challenge being to get her players to understand that and take advantage of the opportunity.
Despite being shorthanded and playing its sixth game in five days, MHS came out of the gate strong, but the Lady Cardinals were able to establish a 12-7 first-quarter lead.
The Lionettes would go on a 9-3 run to start the second quarter to establish their only lead of the ball game at 16-15.
John Paul controlled the second half, outscoring MHS 17-8 in the final 16 minutes, including a 14-5 fourth quarter that started with a 12-0 run by the Lady Cardinals.
Harris said her team did a lot of standing around and not a lot of attacking the ball, and when they stopped making shots, the smaller things became more important and her team may have lost some confidence.
“They out-executed us,” Harris said.
Jazmin Nelson led McKinney with 9 points and Krissy Fontialls contributed 8 points.
McKinney will be back in action Dec. 3 when it travels to take on Highland Park at 6 p.m.