There is always a lot of talk and anticipation going on whenever Ellison visits Killeen to renew the city’s oldest rivalry, but Lady Eagles junior Bri’anna Gray didn’t let the hype get to her.
In the end it’s only another district game and it turned out to be yet another district win.
Gray scored a team-high 20 points while Jordanna Porter added 16 to help the Lady Eagles fly past the Lady Kangaroos 64-43 at the Killeen High gym.
“It feels amazing, we’re 6-0,” Gray said.
The win helps Ellison (17-7, 6-0 District 8-5A) stay atop the district standings.
Tia Harston led the Lady Roos (13-11, 4-2) in scoring with 16, seven of which came in the fourth quarter.
“Hopefully, we take it as a learning experience,” Killeen coach Latisha Williams said. “They pretty much just hit us in the teeth and we didn’t come up from it. That’s pretty much what it was. The girls played hard, but we didn’t execute at all, offensively or defensively.”
Ellison was the aggressor from the beginning and its determination showed.
Imani Hughes opened the game with a jump shot and Gray followed with her first of three 3-pointers to put Killeen in a five-point hole in the first 39 seconds of the game.
“That was huge to come out because they were hyped up and the girls were ready to play,” Ellison coach Sherry McKinnon said. “That way you kind of settle down the fans and you realize that it’s a basketball game and the girls are going to decide who wins or who loses.”
Ellison led by as many as 12 points in the second before Killeen got things going offensively as a Harston drive sparked a 7-2 Lady Roo run that cut Ellison’s lead to 26-19 with 3:40 remaining in the first half.
It appeared that Killeen had a chance to cut into an 11-point Ellison lead when Gray picked up her third foul of the game and sat out the rest of the half with the Lady Eagles ahead 30-19.
But Ellison actually built on the lead when Killeen missed its free throws and Nadia Carter hit a shot from the charity stripe to send Ellison into halftime with a 33-21 lead.
“We’ve got to work harder, execute and look inside to the post,” Killeen senior post Ceida Williams said.
Ellison increased its stranglehold on the game in the second half using its defense. The Lady Eagles held the Lady Roos to five points on 28 percent shooting (2 of 7) while scoring seven points on eight Killeen turnovers in the half.
Harston completed a 3-point play with 6:25 remaining in the third and that would be Killeen’s only basket in more than nine minutes before Karyea Oliver ended the scoring drought with a putback with 5:03 left in the game.
By that point, Ellison had built a 46-28 lead.
“I don’t think we’ve reached our peak yet, but we’re getting there,” Gray said.
Francesca Patrick scored 12 points for Ellison while Ceida and Jacen Moore had strong games for Killeen with seven points apiece.
Ellison shoots for district win No. 7 when it hosts Shoemaker on Friday while Killeen looks to rebound when it visits Temple.