Four days after the Ryan opened district play with a loss against the unofficial favorites to win the district, the Lady Raiders replaced the zero in its win column in convincing fashion.
Ryan earned its first District 5-5A win of the season with a 44-24 victory against the Hebron Lady Hawks on Tuesday night at Billy Ryan Gym.
It was a much-needed victory for the Lady Raiders, as six teams are fighting for four of the district’s playoff spots.
“It’s just good to get that first [district] victory under your belt, that’s for sure,” Ryan head coach Monesha Allen said. “We just wanted to put some little pieces together tonight.”
Some of those little pieces included keeping senior post Danielle Richardson on the court and out of foul trouble. That piece partially crumbled as Richardson picked up two fouls before the end of the first quarter, forcing Allen to put one of her seniors on the bench.
However, Richardson never fouled out and finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“People just respect her,” Allen said. “They respect her size. They just respect her inside and feel that she can score. When you have people that are respecting the inside, it opens up the outside.”
Senior guard Teana Ogden led the Lady Raiders with 13 points, and Tichina Coleman added 10 points in the victory for Ryan (10-13, 1-1 district). Molly Pospichal had a team-high seven points for the Lady Hawks.
Both teams had their respective struggles in the first half. Ryan struggled with hanging onto the ball, while Hebron (9-11, 1-1) had a tough time producing points.
The Lady Hawks made five of their 32 shots in the first half. On the last two 3-pointers hoisted by Molly Pospichal to close the half, Hebron head coach Stacy McDonald sat on the bench and pleaded for the ball to go into the basket. One of Pospichal’s long-range jumpers went in and was quickly answered by a 3-pointer by Ryan’s Jeffreyonna Holley.
Holley’s basket closed the scoring in the first half, and the Lady Raiders nursed an 18-11 lead going into the second half. Ryan only made 30 percent of its shots in the first half.
The Lady Hawks continued to struggle in the second half and only scored four field goals in the final 16 minutes.
Ryan cemented the win in the fourth quarter. The Lady Raiders’ lead never dipped under nine points, and they closed the game with nine unanswered points
Ryan rebounded from a district-opening loss to Flower Mound Marcus last Friday with a win on Tuesday, a definite sign of progress for a team battling for a playoff spot.
“I think we’re getting a lot better,” Richardson said. “The team chemistry is getting a lot better.”
Ryan 49, Frisco Lone Star 47 (OT)
The fourth quarter of Ryan’s nondistrict boys basketball game against Frisco Lone Star resembled a boxing match where one fighter won enough rounds to win the fight and attempted to survive the final round without getting knocked out.
When the final buzzer sounded and a game-winning 3-pointer clanked off the front of the rim, the Raiders had barely avoided the knockout punch.
Ryan held on for a 49-47 victory in overtime against Class 3A’s Frisco Lone Star on Tuesday night.
The Raiders’ five-point lead with 2:30 left in the game fizzled, and they were forced to win their final nondistrict game of the season in the extra period.
“It’s always tough when you’re the team that’s forced into overtime,” Ryan head coach Bryce Overstreet said. “We didn’t execute as efficiently as I would have liked down the stretch in regulation, but I’m extremely proud of my kids for going into the final four minutes and making the plays.”
Ryan (13-6) was led by senior point guard Gilbert Jackson’s 19 points, with eight of those points coming in the fourth quarter and overtime. Senior guard Nick Jones added 11 points.
Jonathan Clay paced Lone Star (10-11) with 18 points. Points 13, 14 and 15 were Clay’s biggest contribution to the game.
The Raiders, who had trailed by four points at halftime, built its lead in the fourth quarter and slowed the pace of the game down, forcing Lone Star (10-11) to press the ball while Ryan was on its side of the court. The Rangers slowly chipped away at the lead, and the Raiders had the ball with 20.1 seconds left.
Ryan was trying to inbound the ball, and the pass hit senior guard Montarius Banks in the back as he was running toward the basket. Lone Star recovered the ball, dribbled down the court and passed the ball around until Clay opened up on the right side of the court and heaved a long 3-point attempt.
The ball went in just before time expired and the visitors’ side of Billy Ryan Gym erupted as the Rangers had forced overtime.
The score was tied again late in overtime, and Jackson, as he dribbled in the middle of the paint, was fouled with 5.9 seconds left and put on the free-throw line. Jackson needed to make the first free throw in order to shoot the second.
Jackson’s first free throw bounced off the rim and into the basket. Jackson dropped his arms and his head hung for a few seconds in relief before he swished the next free throw. Lone Star’s final shot, a double-clutched 3-pointer as time expired, bounced off the front of the rim.
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RYAN 44, HEBRON 24
Hebron — Molly Pospichal 7, Kristin Cunningham 4, Grace Pospichal 4, Maddie Brown 4, Victoria Miller 2, Sydney Maxwell 2, Stefanie Mitchell 1.
Ryan — Teana Ogden 13, Danielle Richardson 11, Tichina Coleman 10, Mariah Young 4, Jeffreyonna Holley 3, Ashtyn Lovett 3.
RYAN 49, FRISCO LONE STAR 47 (OT)
Frisco Lone Star
Frisco Lone Star — Jonathan Clay 18, Zach Brown 15, Preston Schilling 10, Toure Stevens 2, M’Kyl Bordes 2.
Ryan — Gilbert Jackson 19, Nick Jones 11, Montarius Banks 8, Quincy Jones 4, Jeremy Lenoire 3, Xavier Gray 2, Tyrone Williams 2.