AUBREY — Pilot Point won just eight games last year, so you’ll have to excuse coach Jeff Price if he seems to be approaching this season with cautious optimism. But he admits he likes what he sees so far.
Pilot Point (2-0) remained unbeaten on the young season with a 54-39 win at Aubrey on Tuesday. Stephen Richter led the Bearcats with 20 points while Cory Powell chipped in another 15. Six players scored for the Bearcats, who led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
“We struggled a lot last year, but we have a bunch of guys returning this year and they are all playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Price said. “That confidence is creating a lot of great things for us so far.”
Aubrey, which returned just one starter from last year’s 19-10 squad, slipped to 1-2 with the loss. Cole Cannon led the Chaparrals with 10 points while Bo Loftin and Cooper Turrubiarte each finished with eight points. Drew Davis scored seven points.
“We’re just so inexperienced right now and we can’t handle situations like that very well,” Aubrey coach Kyle Smith said. “Our guards have got to do a better job of handling pressure. We’re just not a very good team right now.”
Aubrey only trailed by four at halftime, but things started to go south in a hurry. Pilot Point increased its lead to 10 with an 8-2 run to open the third quarter. The Bearcats still led by six at the start of the fourth quarter when they went on a 7-0 run. Powell sent the Bearcat faithful into a frenzy when he picked up a steal and took it the other way for an easy layup midway through the run.
After scoring 25 points in the first half, Aubrey was held to 14 points in the second half. Richter scored five points as part of another 8-5 run to seal the win for Pilot Point.
“One thing we’ve talked about is to put pressure on teams as much as possible,” Price said. “We have enough depth to where we can play eight, nine or ten different guys and wear teams down.”
Aubrey 43, Pilot Point 33
Kendyl Wright poured in 16 points as Aubrey jumped on Pilot Point early and pulled away.
Trailing by one early in the first quarter, Aubrey (4-3) went on a 15-1 run that bled into the second quarter. The surge gave the Lady Chaparrals a 20-9 lead, and its defense clamped down the rest of the way. Aubrey allowed just 19 points through the first three quarters.
“That run really gave us the separation we needed to do some extra things on offense,” Aubrey coach Johnny Hodge said. “I thought our chemistry on defense looked really good. We are getting better.”
Pilot Point coach Todd Bramlett couldn’t help but be critical of his team, which couldn’t reach double figures in any of the first three quarters. It only strung together back-to-back buckets twice between the second and third quarters. The Lady Bearcats (2-2) did get into a rhythm in the final eight minutes, but they only outscored Aubrey 14-12 in that frame.
Wright scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half, while teammate Alex Martinez finished the night with 10 points.
Allison Ray led Pilot Point with 14 points.
“We had been doing a good job of shooting [before Tuesday], but tonight we couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” Bramlett said. “We just missed too many shots.”
Pilot Point 54, Aubrey 39
Pilot Point (2-0) — Stephen Richter 20, Cory Powell 15, Toby Alexander 5, Randy Peggs 7, Jarrett Hayes 2, Josh Wardle 5.
Aubrey (1-2) — Drew Davis 7, Bo Loftin 8, Cooper Turrubiarte 8, Cole Cannon 10, Michael Page 2, Cole Bovre 4.
Aubrey 43, Pilot Point 33
Pilot Point (2-2) — Hannah Guthrie 1, Lexi Polk 8, Allison Ray 14, Natalie Larson 4, Harmony Tetmeyer 2, Hydeia Chancellor 4.
Aubrey (4-3) — Taylor Gardiner 6, Kendyl Wright 16, Natalie Gattuso 7, Alex Martinez 10, Hannah Schmitz 2, Scarlett Gregory 2.