KRUM — Midway through Tuesday night’s game against Decatur, Krum coach Lana Degelia hollered across the court to sophomore center Kylee Myers and asked for more toughness.
Not only did Myers respond to Degelia’s request, but the rest of the Lady Cats picked up the intensity in a physical district game for a 48-42 comeback win against the Lady Eagles at Bennie Enis Gym.
The sophomore scored a team-high 14 points and helped Krum erase an early deficit to pick up its second District 9-3A win in as many games.
“We were pretty nervous,” Myers said. “But once we settled down, we started playing how we play.”
Senior center Katie Isham anchored the Lady Eagles with a game-high 20 points and a couple of key blocks.
Behind Isham and a strong start on both sides of the ball, Decatur (16-4, 1-1 district) led from the opening tip-off and took a 26-23 lead into halftime.
But Myers hit a basket with 4:43 left in the third quarter and sparked a 7-0 Krum run that was capped by a 3-pointer by senior guard Caylee Thomas.
Thomas and junior Mackenzie Ripple each scored nine points in the win for the Lady Cats (13-11, 2-0).
Thomas’ long-range shot gave Krum its first lead of the game with 1:46 left in the third. Decatur was able to tie it heading into the fourth quarter, but Krum overwhelmed the Lady Eagles in the final eight minutes.
Isham played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls, and avoided her fifth and disqualifying foul. But Decatur coach Billy Garner said Myers disrupted Isham in the paint.
“We didn’t work hard enough to get it in there to her, and that girl [Myers] was pushing her around and she didn’t get her post play established in there,” Garner said.
Degelia said Myers, who is one of two key returning players from last year’s team that reached the Class 3A state tournament, does a great job of recognizing an incoming double team and finding an open teammate. Myers exhibited that ability Tuesday night and answered Degelia’s call for physicality.
“When she finally stopped playing soft and stepped up and started attacking and playing the way she knows how, she’s key for us,” Degelia said. “And that helps our inside-out game.”
Krum also came up with key offensive rebounds in the second half, something Garner said his team failed to prevent and Degelia said was the key to the victory.
“If we don’t get them off the boards and we don’t get those offensive rebounds, we probably don’t win that,” Degelia said. “We work on that on both ends of the floor every day”
Degelia and Myers said Tuesday’s win was huge considering Krum and Decatur are two of the district’s five teams. Krum’s tough nondistrict schedule has paid dividends so far, as the Lady Cats have won their first two district contests.
“This is huge,” Myers said of Tuesday’s win. “People were expecting us to be fourth in district and we’ve got something to prove to them — that we’re much better than what people are expecting and we’re here to prove them wrong.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Krum 48, Decatur 42
Decatur — Makayla Mayfield 2, Shelby Drews 9, Murphy Graham 4, Katie Isham 20, Traci Hale 5, Macen Stripling 2.
Krum — Caylee Thomas 9, Sadie May 2, Mackenzie Ripple 9, Haley Lewis 6, Jo Beth Guerra 2, Kylee Myers 14, Haley White 6.