The last time the Guyer girls played Wichita Falls, it was in the Lady Coyotes’ gym in a District 5-4A opener before the Christmas break.
Guyer coach Harold Colson was happy with the way his team defended in that game — a three-point Guyer loss — but he was not happy with his own coaching.
“I think I didn’t trap early enough in that game,” Colson said. “When we did is when we started to come back; we just came up short. So that was just as much my fault as anyone’s.”
In Tuesday’s rematch at Guyer, the Lady Wildcats were aggressive from the opening whistle and it showed on the scoreboard as Guyer toppled the Lady Coyotes 60-38 to pull ahead of them in the 5-4A standings.
Guyer (16-7, 6-2 district) forced several turnovers, led by guard Quamese Moss’ 10 steals, as the Lady Wildcats thrived early and often in a half-court — sometimes full-court — pressure defense that had the Lady Coyotes off kilter all night.
“We definitely came on with the defense tonight,” Colson said. “From the last game when we lost to them, I thought we played pretty decently in the half-court trap defense, and we thought it would be effective again.”
Moss scored 15 points for Guyer, but the team high went to senior forward Bre Clay-Baker, who has been one of Guyer’s top players for two years but has struggled with a nagging knee problem.
Clay-Baker only played about a quarter in the teams’ first meeting, but she was in the game for much of the night Tuesday en route to a game-high 16 points.
“She was big tonight,” Colson said. “We just want her to maintain and stay healthy. She’s a big part of our team, and every time she’s on the floor it’s big for us.”
Senior guard Tierney Peters came off the bench to add 10 points on 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point arc, furthering Colson’s confidence in her as a dangerous long-distance shooter.
“We’ve always known she was a good shooter,” Colson said. “Her problem has always been [that] in game situations she puts too much pressure on herself. It was good to see her get out there and fire away. When she does that, she’s one of the best shooters on our team.”
Moss scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to help lead the Lady Wildcats to a 26-point period and some sweet revenge as the Lady Wildcats moved out of a tie for second with the Lady Coyotes (16-10, 5-3).
“The girls showed some character after going there and being disappointed with a loss in a game we felt we should’ve won,” Colson said. “It was good to see them come out and defend our home court. They were focused and ready to win this game.”
Guyer 59, Wichita Falls 50
Through the first quarter, it looked like Guyer would be in for a battle with Wichita Falls, which is led by Garran Nash.
The 6-foot-9 forward poured in seven first-quarter points as the teams went to the second quarter locked in a two-point game. But the Wildcats (15-6, 5-1) pulled away, and they led by 17 points with just over a minute to play before three 3-pointers from Wichita Falls closed the final margin.
“Keying on him was the biggest thing,” Guyer coach Grant Long said of Nash. “He’s a good player. I thought our help-side defense got a lot better taking away that lob pass to him inside.”
A big part of that defensive improvement came from the bench, as Xavier Brown and Shelton Childress entered the game in the second quarter and helped hold the Coyotes to nine points as Guyer, the No. 16 team in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A poll, went on a 15-0 run.
Nash finished with just nine points.
“Shelton Childress and Xavier Brown came off the bench and really sparked the defense in the second quarter,” Long said. “I think we got four turnovers and three stops in a row and stretched the lead with seven straight stops and got that big halftime lead to really get us going.”
It certainly didn’t help the Coyotes (7-15, 1-5) that the Wildcats were hot from the floor, led by Sean Choate’s 5-of-6 shooting night that led to 10 points and Zack Duncan’s game-high 19 points, including a 5-for-7 effort from beyond the arc.
A key stretch in the second quarter came with Guyer holding a 20-18 lead before Wildcats sophomore Mitchell Willard got a brilliant pass from Miles Crawford, put up a shot and was fouled to convert on a three-point play. A minute later, Crawford hit a deep, high-arcing 3-pointer to stretch Guyer’s lead to eight points.
Crawford finished with 12 points, with seven of those coming from the foul line.
“We’ve got good shooters, and it’s because they spend time in the gym,” Long said. “It’s not enough for them to just shoot in practice. They spend extra time on their own — all those guys do — and that’s the benefits of that. That’s the big reason: the extra and the little things they put in.”
GUYER 60, WICHITA FALLS 38
Wichita Falls (16-10, 5-3) — Jalisa Williams 3, Eche Hervey 2, Aaliyah Williams 2, Jada Green 6, Sierra Roberts 3, Alexis Reece 6, Mollice Lashawndra 2, Zemetria Scroggins 2, Karlesha Clark 12.
Guyer (16-7, 6-2) — Alicia Downard 2, Madison Franklin 2, Quamese Moss 15, Bre Clay-Baker 16, Ola Akinniyi 7, Tierney Peters 10, Bre Wickware 6, Jada Calloway 2.
GUYER 59, WICHITA FALLS 50
Wichita Falls (7-15, 1-5) — Mikal Penn 9, Brandon Brown 5, Lucas McClain 7, Demetrius Mozeke 11, Michael Williams 5, Deshaun Young 4, Garran Nash 9.
Guyer (15-6, 5-1) — Sean Choate 10, Shelton Childress 3, Miles Crawford 12, Mitchell Willard 9, Zack Duncan 19, Justin Griffin 6.