SALADO — Lampasas was not in a must-win situation. It just felt like it.
En route to reaching the playoffs last season, the Lady Badgers were forced to rebound from an early district loss at Salado.
While everything worked out in Lampasas’ favor, senior Kamri Corbin admits the team did not want to be in a similar position Friday, when they opened the District 27-4A schedule against the Lady Eagles.
“The first game in district is the most important,” the guard said, “because it sets the tone. We want to get on top and stay on top, so if we lose the first one, then we would just get down on ourselves.”
The Class 4A No. 12 Lady Badgers avoided any letdown, though.
Propelled by a 19-3 outburst to begin the game, Lampasas won its 11 th consecutive contest, defeating Salado 52-41 behind a team-high 13-point performance from senior Jelecia Magee-Hodges.
Following the victory, the post echoed Corbin’s sentiments.
“This win is a big deal,” Magee-Hodges said, “because last season, we began district with a mindset that we expected to lose, but we’re coming to a point where we have to set different trends.
“We have to come out and expect to win and play beyond those old expectations.”
For most of the game, the Lady Badgers did.
With Diane Hurst scoring six points in the first period, Lampasas (22-3, 1-0) quickly constructed a double-digit advantage, taking a 21-6 lead into the second quarter before inflating the cushion to 17 points, 33-16, at halftime.
Then, Salado responded.
The Lady Eagles scored eight unanswered points to begin the third period, trimming the deficit to nine points, 33-24, but they would not get any closer.
The Lady Badgers pushed their lead to 50-30 in the fourth quarter and easily held on despite Salado closing the contest with a 11-2 outburst, including eight of junior Kaia Philen’s game-high 18 points.
“We knew they were going to make some runs on us,” Lampasas head coach Mark Myers said, “but we knew we would make some runs on them too.
“We have to be able to fight through things like that and keep on going.”
Along with her team-high offense, Magee-Hodges added four rebounds and four assists for the Lady Badgers, while Corbin added 10 points, and teammates Hurst (5 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Abby Martin (5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) contributed 8 points apiece.
“We have multiple options,” Hurst said, “and that is what makes us such a threat. Teams can take away one or two of our players, but we have so many others who can make plays, and they can’t guard us all.”
Now, the Lady Badgers will look to avoid repeating another disappointing loss from last year.
Lampasas hosts Liberty Hill on Tuesday after losing by a whopping 71 points, 84-13, at home to the Lady Panthers last season.
Additionally, Liberty Hill won its home game against Lampasas 89-27.
Corbin, however, is expecting a different outcome in this encounter.
“We want revenge,” she said. “They better watch out, because we are coming for them.”
“We want to get back at them for what they did to us last year,” she said. “We need to have a wild animal’s mentality and know we can clash with them”
LAMPASAS 52, SALADO 41
No. 12 Lampasas (52)
Magee-Hodges 13, Corbin 10, Martin 8, Hurst 8, Ball 5, Winter 2, Linney 2, Yancy 2, Lowery 2.
Philen 18, Lima 11, Goings 3, Rembert 3, Preston 2, Pettigrew 2, Wade 2.
Lampasas 21 12 10 9—52
Salado 6 10 12 12—41
3-Point Goals—Lampasas 5 (Martin 2, Corbin 2, Ball), Salado 3 (Philen 2, Lima). Free Throws—Lampasas 7-17, Salado 12-27. Fouled Out—Lima. Total Fouls—Lampasas 18, Salado 16. Technicals—None.
Records—Lampasas 22-3, 1-0 27-4A, Salado 0-1 27-4A.
FRIDAY’S AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL
- Lorena 34, No. 20 Gatesville 21
- No. 12 Lampasas 52, Salado 41