Ellison did everything possible to overcome it.
Against No. 3 Round Rock Stony Point on Friday, the No. 21 Lady Eagles snagged offensive rebound after offensive rebound, forced turnovers and hit free throws to pull within one heading into the fourth quarter.
But in the end, Ellison simply wasn’t able to overcome a cold shooting night as the Lady Eagles shot 20 percent from the field and scored two points in the fourth quarter of a 46-29 loss to Stony Point at Ellison Gymnasium.
“We knew it was going to be a hard battle when we came in,” said Ellison assistant coach Deanna Sullivan, filling in for coach Sherry McKinnon, who was attending a funeral. “I felt like we had it up until about the fourth when we got in foul trouble and they kind of pulled away.”
Stony Point had its own foul trouble to overcome as 6-foot-3 junior Jordan Moore — who scored a game-high 24 points in a win against Harker Heights on Tuesday — was forced to sit with her fourth foul just 37 seconds into the second half.
Yet with one its key cogs glued to the bench, senior guard Autumn Avina picked up the slack, scoring 12 of her game-high 19 points in the second half as the Lady Tigers never flinched when challenged late.
“In my head, I was like, ‘We’re going to win this game, we’re going to win this game no matter what,’” Avina said.
Despite falling behind 17-4 on the first possession of the second quarter, the end of a 13-0 run by Stony Point, Ellison battled back to pull within two in the final minute before Stony Point sophomore Doriana Brown gave the Lady Tigers a 22-18 halftime lead on a putback in the final seconds.
Ellison shot 6 for 29 in the first half, compared to 9 for 17 by Stony Point, but stayed close by recording nine steals in the first two quarters, part of 11 turnovers by the Lady Tigers.
After Moore went out with her fourth foul early in the third, Ellison junior Jordanna Porter, who led the Lady Eagles with 12 points, cut the lead to 22-21 with 6:40 remaining in the period.
Stony Point eventually pushed the lead back to four but found itself in a bind as Ellison went into the bonus at the 2:25 mark in the third.
The Lady Eagles were never able to take advantage of the Lady Tigers’ foul trouble, shooting just six free throws after that point.
“We just have to know how to play smarter and better and not just keep fouling,” Avina said.
Ellison, meanwhile, found itself in foul trouble late as starters Francesca Patrick and Madison Hattix-Covington both fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Patrick pulled Ellison within 26-25 on a fadeaway in the lane with 1:40 to play in the third, and Porter later hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds of the third to make it 28-27 heading into the fourth.
But while Stony Point kept scoring, Ellison was shut out in the final six minutes of the game.
Patrick finished with 11 points as she and Porter combined for all but one of the Lady Eagles’ field goals.
Stony Point, meanwhile, survived playing without Moore for most of the second half to take its second win on the road against a Killeen ISD school.
“It’s tough to play in Killeen, Texas,” Lady Tiger coach Keith Allen said. “It’s tough to play because the crowds are very fanatical about their teams, and they get very involved and that’s great.”
Ellison, meanwhile, will gear up for a visit to No. 16 Pflugerville on Tuesday, when the Lady Eagles hope they will be able to shoot better than they did Friday.
“We don’t have too long to dwell on it,” Sullivan said, “But I think one thing we learned is we’ve got to put the ball in the hole.”
Contact Jordan Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7562