LITTLE ELM — After a fast start, Braswell's speedy transition offense ended up being its demise when turnovers got the best of it in a 53-45 home loss to District 5-5A foe Ryan on Tuesday night.
The Lady Bengals turned the ball over 22 times in the loss, and although they fought back late, the Lady Raiders converted some deep shots to keep their lead.
"I thought we ran the floor in our transition offense really well tonight, but unfortunately we faced some pressure and got inconsistent with it and started to turn the ball over," first-year Braswell coach Paige Trujillo said.
Ryan (5-10, 1-1 District 5-5A) fell into an early 10-2 hole, but it climbed back when Jadan Mitchell hit the first of her three 3-pointers with 4:20 left in the second quarter to put it ahead 16-13. Ryan extended that advantage to 22-14 before surrendering a 7-1 Braswell run to end the half.
The Lady Raiders came back out in the second half with a mission to feed the ball down low. After scoring only five points in the first half, Ryan post Kannessia Holbert started to get inside Braswell's defense.
Holbert led Ryan with a game-high 20 points and shot 72 percent from the free-throw line. She was followed by Mitchell's nine points and Kayra Thompson's eight. Tiarah Starks and Aminah Hall each poured in 13 to lead Braswell, while Kamryn Gibson added 12.
"[Holbert] had five in the first half," Ryan coach Monesha Allen said. "Then we got some good passes to her inside, and she finished. She hit a lot of free throws tonight as well."
Trujillo was worried about Ryan's size prior to the game, and for the most part, the Lady Bengals held Holbert and her teammates in check until the second half.
Ryan began the third with an 11-0 run before Starks buried a 3-pointer. Just when Braswell would cut the Lady Raiders' lead to single digits, they'd hit a 3-pointer or Holbert would win a battle inside.
"The inside didn't work for us much of the first half, but then we got the ball down and inside in the second," Allen said. "I was proud of they way we ran the offense, recorded a few offensive rebounds and hit some of those second-chance opportunities."
Braswell (7-10, 0-1) simply didn't have the size in the paint to keep up, but the Lady Bengals still managed to record a 6-0 run to cut the lead to six with 1:05 left.
Braswell tried to pressure the ball, but it could only foul before time ran out.
Ryan moves back to .500 in district play, while the Lady Bengals lose their district opener.
"We're still pretty young in spots, but we don't want to be playing our best basketball now," Trujillo said. "It can be frustrating at times, but a lot of girls stepped up tonight and I'm proud of the progress we made."
JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter at @JimmyIsbell12.
Ryan 53, Braswell 45
Ryan (5-10, 1-1) -- Kayra Thompson 8, Latavia Jackson 3, Megan Edwards 2, Halle Rucker 5, Kannessia Holbert 20, Jadan Mitchell 9, Tija Burns 6.
Braswell (7-10, 0-1) -- Kaiya Turner 5, Sydney Tyler 2, Kamryn Gibson 12, Aminah Hall 13, Tiarah Starks 13.