By Raegan Stanley
Killeen Daily Herald
The Ellison Lady Eagles' Friday night game against the No. 15 Bryan Lady Vikings was a lot like an Oreo cookie – smooth in the middle and a little bumpy on either side.
The Lady Eagles (8-7) outscored Bryan in the second quarter and kept pace in the third but had a rough time in the first and fourth quarters in their 81-56 loss to the Lady Vikings in their District 13 5A opener.
Bryan (15-4) pressured the Lady Eagles with a full-court press and Ellison struggled after moving the ball over mid-court. Ellison committed 36 turnovers, 18 in each half.
"We would get it across and they would trap and we would try and throw it cross-court. We can't do that and we've worked on that," said Lady Eagle coach Sherry McKinnon. "Thirty-six turnovers against that team is not going to work."
The Lady Eagles were outscored 26-12 in the first, thanks to Bryan's Brooke Cooks, who made 13 of her 17 points in the quarter.
Ellison senior Mica Williams put up 10 of her 19 points in the second. With her team working her the ball inside, Williams went up strong to put up a quick two and, shortly after, hit a shot and got the foul to lessen Bryan's lead at 31-25. Doing a great job pulling down offensive rebounds, Williams was fouled three more times and made five of her six free throws to bring the halftime score to 42-31.
"I'm very proud of the girls and that we could play with them," McKinnon said of the solid second- and third-quarter performance. "I liked our defense at times and I liked that we played our tempo. They didn't get us out of our game so much as we got ourselves out of the game. I feel like we can score against good teams."
McKinnon believes that one of the main problems that is plaguing her team is the youth of the Lady Eagles. McKinnon's only senior is Williams. Bryan played seven seniors in the Friday night matchup.
"We didn't look as smooth (as Bryan). That's due to being young," McKinnon said.
"Their maturity beat our lack of maturity."
Ellison hung with the Lady Vikings in the third quarter before a disappointing final period put to rest any hopes of winning.
Lisa Hicklen hit a jumper to put the first points up in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Eagles went 6 minutes before scoring again. Hicklen made an additional three points and Williams added five but Ellison was outscored 24-10.
"We looked like we were tired," McKinnon said of the lackluster fourth-quarter performance.
The Lady Eagles will continue district play at Harker Heights on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Contact Raegan Stanley at email@example.com