Lady Bucks hopeful despite 62-26 loss
Although falling to Merkel 62-26 Monday night, Breckenridge coach Chris Robertson believes his team played its best game this season.
Robertson attributed his optimism to smart play late in the third quarter and the speedy development of his young posts.
“We won that third quarter,” Robertson said. “We got a little momentum, a little confidence. I have to brag on Carly Tennison (senior forward). Over the last three games, that kid has really shown up. When Madison Stanley (sophomore forward) got injured, she really stepped up her game to fill that void. She had 20 the night Madison went down, 20 again the next game. She played awesome against Lipan. I thought she did a great job tonight. If she plays that good every night, then we will be able to compete.”
The Lady Buckaroos struggled against Merkel’s full-press defense early, allowing the Lady Badgers to jump out to a 10-0 lead before sophomore Kinley Kanady broke the goose egg with a shot from close range. A layup by sophomore guard Nayeli Hernandez pulled the Lady Buckaroos within 5 points of Merkel, but they could not keep pace.
“We had to work as a team to get through [the press]. We did good overall,” said senior guard Alyssa Reyes, who led the team in rebounds with four and was second in scoring with 6 points.
After going into halftime down 36-10, the Lady Buckaroos went on a 7-2 run in the third quarter with Reyes picking up four on a pair of free throws and a lay-up. Tennison carried Reyes’ momentum and went on a tear of her own, hitting a 3-pointer, then picking up another basket on the next possession. She ended the night with a team-leading 11 points.
While Tennison continues to shine in her senior year, sophomore Brandee McKnight is just beginning her high school varsity career. She made her debut against Lipan Saturday. At nearly 6-foot, Robertson believes McKnight can be a force under the basket as long as she can get just one finger on the ball.
“The first four games we had an 80 rebound disadvantage,” Robertson said. “I needed a to stick a body in there that could at least bat the ball around and maybe get a few of those. I made a specific role. I said ‘I need you to rebound, outlet and be a big body on defense.’ I’m really proud of her. She was a little nervous coming in, but I’m really proud of her.”
McKnight said her second game was still nerve-racking, at first, but that anxiety subsided as the game progressed.
“This was my second. It’s kind of like being a deer in the headlights at first,” she said. “You learn to play … I felt pretty good. Our rebounding improved since my first game.”
The Lady Buckaroos will face Graham Tuesday, then take a week-long break for Thanksgiving before returning Tuesday to host Santo. The junior varsity tips off at 5 p.m. with the varsity set to tipoff at 6:30 p.m.