McKINNEY — Looking up “teamwork” on the Internet should lead you to a video of Friday night’s playoff opener for the Krum Lady Cats.
Julia Schmaltz scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and fellow senior Rachel Wallace added 17 points to lead Krum to victory.
But Krum’s 70-53 win over Princeton in a Class 3A Region II area-round matchup at McKinney Boyd was a virtuoso teamwork performance. That’s how coach Lana Degelia drew it up.
“That’s something we work on. That’s something these girls do well,” Degelia said when asked about her players’ knack for finding teammates cutting to the basket for easy scores.
The Lady Cats shot 65 percent from the field, going 24-of-37 overall and 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
“They’re always looking up the court,” Degelia said, “Rachel hit some 3’s and opened up the back door. When Rachel’s hitting, it opens up some options for us.”
Wallace (7-of-8 overall) hit a trio of 3-pointers, two in the third quarter and one in the fourth.
Princeton’s Jonae Isaac was a powerhouse from the start, scoring 19 of her 34 points in the first half. But the Lady Panthers’ 5-foot-7-inch senior standout was pretty much a one-player team.
District 9-3A champion Krum (26-6), making its ninth straight trip to the playoffs, advances to play early next week against Argyle, which beat Wilmer-Hutchins 55-41 on Friday.
Princeton, which defeated Ferris 67-33 in the bi-district round and last year reached the third round, ended its season at 19-13.
Despite Isaac’s heroics, Krum led 19-10 after one quarter and 37-29 at halftime.
With 11 second-quarter points by Isaac and 3-pointers from Payton Coburn and Skylar Brooks, Princeton scored a moral victory by outscoring Krum 19-18 in the second stanza.
But the Lady Cats held Isaac to a pair of buckets in the third, outscored Princeton 21-11 and pushed their lead to 58-40.
“She’s a great player and she got hot in the first half,” Degelia said of Isaac. “I subbed Caylee Thomas on her and she did a great job of making her work. We were able to switch back and forth [alternating the 5-foot-10 Schmaltz against Isaac].
“We were able to put some length on her with Julia. The mission was to not make it easy. She’s going to get her points.”
Caitlyn Arnold’s only bucket of the game, a 3-pointer early in the third quarter, gave Krum a double-digit lead at 42-31. Callie Craddock made it a 13-point lead when she took a pass from Arnold and scored on a fastbreak.
After Brooke Campbell hit a 3 for Princeton, Wallace started and ended an 8-0 Krum run with 3-point baskets. The Lady Cats led 54-36 with 1:33 left in the third.
Wallace’s trey to open the fourth quarter gave Krum its first 20-plus-point advantage at 61-40. The Lady Cats had other 21-point leads but none bigger.
Princeton, as is its habit, began the game by passing the ball for more than a minute, 1:10 exactly. The Lady Panthers made nearly two dozen perimeter passes and only a handful of dribbles before Isaac took the first shot of the game.
Craddock, who had eight rebounds to go with eight points, scooped up Isaac’s miss and scored the first points of the game. What followed was a two-minute scoring frenzy led by six points from Schmaltz that allowed Krum to jump out to an 11-0 lead with 4:49 left in the opening period. Princeton fouls, turnovers and missed shots were big contributors.
The Lady Panthers managed to get as close as three points several times in the second period, the last coming at 23-20 on an Isaac free throw with 5:05 left in the half.
Princeton’s star was 15-for-27 from the floor and 3-for-6 from the free throw line. Overall, the Lady Panthers shot 50 percent from the floor.
Krum outrebounded the shorter Lady Panthers 30-17, with Isaac’s nine rebounds eight more than any of her teammates.
Krum 70, Princeton 53
Krum 19 18 21 12 — 70
Princeton 10 19 11 13 — 53
Krum — Caylee Thomas 5, Allison Beck 11, Diamond Martinez 2, Rachel Wallace 17, Julia Schmaltz 20, Callie Craddock 8, Kylee Myers 2, Caitlyn Arnold 3.
Princeton — Alexis Smith 4, Krysten Coburn 2, Kaylee Strickland 4, Brooke Campbell 3, Payton Coburn 3, Skylar Brooks 3, Jonae Isaac 34.