Denton led the Sanger Lady Indians at halftime and after the third quarter, but the Lady Broncos’ defensive breakdowns in the game’s waning moments allowed Sanger to sneak away with a 38-30 victory on Tuesday night at the Purple Pit.
“We were up in stretches,” Denton coach Dennis Krishka said. “We lost 38-30, but it was a much closer game than that. It was back and forth the whole time. We struggle to shoot the basketball. We struggle against the zone, and it was a battle for us to create. We don’t have a lot of people that can score.”
For Sanger, Natalie Castillo’s 15 points helped lead an offensive attack that blossomed with 16 points in the fourth quarter after scoring just 12 in the first half. Candace Prater contributed 10 points, with several coming deep in the paint.
“For 29 minutes we played exceptional defense,” Krishka said. “In the last three minutes, we fouled too much to put them on the free throw line. We didn’t do a good job taking away the post, and she [Prater] got easy shots in the paint. She got some looks in their halfcourt offense, posted up on the block, and we should have taken away that pass. It’s hard to win when you don’t know how to win.”
Despite the defensive lapse, Krishka was encouraged with his team’s defensive prowess throughout most of the game, but he wanted that defense to translate to more efficiency on the offensive end of the floor.
“We struggled but still had plenty of opportunities,” Krishka said. “Our defense created some situations, but we didn’t get shots out of them or missed layups. It was our defense that got us the lead. We got steals, we got breakaways and got to the rim.”
The Lady Broncos (2-8) were led by April Pena’s eight points, with Jordan Hudspeth adding five points, all on free throws.
For Denton to be successful, it will have to focus on every aspect of the game, according to Krishka, who said he hopes his team can do so before District 5-4A play starts Tuesday against Wichita Falls Rider.
“We are what we are on the offensive end,” Krishka said, “so we have to be able to defend and rebound. We can’t give up second shots, and we have to do that for 32 minutes. It’s hard to put your finger on. The game is tough when you can’t score. You have to be exact on the offensive end.
“We shoot under 25 percent for the season. If you can’t shoot the ball well, you’d better do the other things well.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sanger 38, Denton 30
Sanger — Natalie Castillo 15, Candace Prater 10, Carissa Spiker 6, Jacy Beam 5, Brooke Lewis 2.
Denton — Myesha Taylor 8, April Pena 8, Jordan Hudspeth 5, Le’andra Johnson 3, LaNeisha Hudspeth 2, Mariah Seastrunk 2, Victoria Amadi 2.