IRVING — Before the Ryan Lady Raiders and the Hurst L.D. Bell Lady Raiders stepped onto the court for their Class 5A bi-district playoff game, it was apparent from their records that one team carried an advantage.
Bell has lost only four games all season and finished second in District 6-5A. The fifth loss wasn’t to be picked up Tuesday.
The Lady Raiders in blue and white topped Ryan 65-27 at Carrollton Ranchview, eliminating Ryan from the playoffs. Bell will face Duncanville in the next round. Duncanville is undefeated and the No. 1 team in Class 5A, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Ryan’s offense was never able to find its rhythm.
“You can’t shoot like that and expect to beat anybody unless they shoot worse than that,” Ryan coach Monesha Allen said.
Ryan (15-18) suffered its worst playoff loss during Allen’s tenure. She said Ryan shot about 20 percent from the court. Bell (30-4) never trailed and led by more than 18 points the entire second half.
Bell had three players with at least 10 points. Leah Taylor and Sheridan Pilcher each scored 16 points and Cierra Johnson 13.
The scoring at the end of the third quarter summed up the night. In those eight minutes, Bell scored 15 points, matching Ryan’s total for the game to that point.
“I just think we were a little deeper,” Bell coach Brock Pembleton said. “I knew they were going to be athletic and get after us. If we’re shooting the ball well, we can be really good. And we shot the ball a lot better tonight than we have been.”
Ryan senior guard Teana Ogden led her team with eight points, while senior forward Danielle Richardson tallied six points.
Ogden scored all of her points in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of reach. With 4:30 left, Ogden muscled the ball away from a Bell player and strolled down the court for an easy layup and her first points.
Ogden, a four-year starter, was on the Ryan squad that advanced to the Class 4A regional tournament in 2010. Allen said her best player was involved in the passing game but her shots just weren’t falling.
“We just lean and depend on her so much,” Allen said. “We have for four years. When she’s the only one with true playoff experience, deep experience, it’s something to say. If we can’t get her going, it’s tough.”
The Oral Roberts signee went 3 of 18 from the field, joining her teammates in their shooting woes. Allen said that after some early success from behind the 3-point arc, her team settled for long-range shots — shots that wouldn’t find their way into the basket.
“It just seemed as if we started settling for those perimeter shots,” Allen said. “The more and more we started settling, the more and more our percentage went down. They [Bell] were hot hitting shots, and they were getting boards and second-chance points. And we weren’t getting the stops.”
Ryan briefly matched Bell point-for-point before Bell pulled away in the first quarter. Ryan forward Mariah Young drained a 3-pointer to tie the score at 5. From then on, Bell controlled the game.
Bell went off for 12 straight points spanning the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second.
Later in the first half, with Ryan down by 18, the Ryan bench was warned by the head official after voicing its opinion that Bell was getting away with traveling.
Ryan couldn’t get going against Bell’s defense. Bell took a 29-11 lead into halftime.
In its first year in 5A since 2006, Ryan managed to finish third in District 5-5A behind Flower Mound and Flower Mound Marcus.
“Unfortunately, we started rolling real late,” Allen said. “It was a roller coaster. We just had hits and misses, as far as good games [are concerned]. I told the girls we only had three whole games I was pleased with. And I’m talking four quarters. … We weren’t consistent.”
HURST L.D. BELL 65, RYAN 27
Ryan (15-18) — Teana Ogden 8, Danielle Richardson 6, Mariah Young 5, Morgan Davis 4, Carissa Sanders 2, Tichina Coleman 2.
Bell (30-4) — Leah Taylor 16, Sheridan Pilcher 16, Cierra Johnson 13, Bryson Thomas 5, Channing Taylor 4, Maggie Lockwood 4, MaKenna Pembleton 3, Tori Carter 2, Alexis Rigdel 2.