Georgetown eventually broke free of the shackles placed on it by the Ellison defense on Tuesday.
But by then Ellison had the defending Class 4A champs in a hole they were never able to dig out of.
Despite a late surge by No. 10 Georgetown, Ellison was able to hold off the Lady Eagles for a second straight year, winning a defensive battle 36-28 at the Ellison gym.
“It’s a big accomplishment actually because Georgetown was the state champion last year.” said Ellison senior guard Francesca Patrick. “It feels pretty good since we lost so many people last year to be able to still bring back and get the ‘W’ again.”
Ellison (5-1) held Georgetown (1-1) to 26 percent shooting from the floor and outrebounded Georgetown 22-15 in the game.
Perhaps most impressive, Ellison held the normally sharp-shooting Lady Eagles to an 0 for 10 performance from beyond the arc.
“We knew we had a good scouting report on who the shooters were,” Ellison coach Sherry McKinnon said. “We couldn’t let them get loose, and I thought we did a good job limiting them to one shot.”
Ellison not only adjusted its defensive game plan to account for Georgetown but also made a point to slow down offensively.
Nowhere was that more evident than the first possession of the game, which lasted a full minute, 11 seconds and ended with an Ellison offensive foul.
But Ellison wasn’t discouraged.
“We had to be patient and take what the defense gives us,” Patrick said. “If it lasts a minute, that’s what it was going to take.”
The stellar defense continued as the game remained scoreless until Jordanna Porter put in a layup for a 2-0 Ellison lead with 1:44 remaining in the first quarter.
The quarter ended with Ellison up 4-0.
“Patience was a key factor,” McKinnon said of the slow start to the game, “because we’re not a very patient team, and we’re very uptempo, and for us to slow it down with the young players, that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Georgetown scored its first point of the game on a Caitlyn Buttram free throw with 7:37 remaining in the first half.
Georgetown scored on its next possession and then was shut out for the rest of the half. The field goal was its only of the first half as Georgetown shot 1 for 11 in the first two quarters.
Ellison, meanwhile, got going behind the play of Patrick, whose steal and layup put her team up 10-3 with 4:01 remaining in the second.
Patrick then scored a pair of buckets in the final minute on two long jump shots, including a 3-pointer as the first half expired for a 12-3 lead.
Patrick had nine points and a team-high seven rebounds to go with two assists and two steals.
“She’s only a second-year varsity player, but she’s the quarterback of this team ... She really led the team tonight,” McKinnon said of Patrick.
Ellison blew the game open in the second half on a 7-0 run that featured two baskets, including a 3-point play by freshman Madison Hattix-Covington, and a putback by Porter that made it 24-6 at the 3:57 mark in the third.
Porter finished with a game-high 10 points while Hattix-Covington had nine.
Georgetown pulled within single digits twice in the final four minutes of the game but was never able to get closer than eight.
And with a week off before its next game at Waco High, Ellison wasn’t ashamed to say it’d be enjoying Tuesday’s win for a while.
“I was just real pleased,” McKinnon said. “I’m a happy coach tonight.”