Judson girls hoops off to solid start
In one of its final pre-district games, the Judson Lady Rockets raced out to a 16-0 lead en route to a dominating 66-40 home win over the Johnson Jaguars on Friday.
Corina Carter scored 21 points and Tiffany McGarity added 15 as the 17-4 Rockets used a suffocating press defense and fast-break offense to smother Johnson.
“We wanted to definitely pressure them each possession, that’s just how we play,” Judson coach Triva Corrales said. “It’s not just them, it’s anybody. We make it up-tempo, and force them into being a little uncomfortable.”
Johnson committed turnovers on four of its first five possessions while Judson scored on five of its first six. Steals by Teanna Huggins and McGarity lead to uncontested layups before Carter and McGarity both drained three-pointers for a quick 12-0 lead just 2:45 into the game.
The Rockets hit 10 of 15 first-quarter shots, including three of five three-pointers. In the closing seconds of the quarter, Kyra White swiped the ball from a Jaguar and tossed a quick cross-court pass to McGarity, who pulled up and drained a trey with three seconds left for a 24-5 lead.
Judson outscored Johnson 12-9 in the second quarter to take a commanding 36-14 lead into the locker room at half.
The Rockets easily maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.
The win was Judson’s ninth in a row following a loss in the Nov. 17 Pasadena Tournament. The Rockets hit 28 of 61 shots for a 46 percent average, affected by its 4-of-20 shooting from behind the three-point line.
Despite the success of the early defensive pressure and resulting conversions on the other end, Corrales said there was still work to be done before they entered 26-6A play Tuesday, when they traveled to play the East Central Hornets.
“We wanted to play clean with no fouls, execute offensively, and then defensively, just not get beat,” Corrales said of the game plan versus Johnson (5-7). “We still have a ways to go. We have things we still need to work on, for sure.”
Judson’s Kierra Sanderlin added 12 points, 11 rebounds and six steals for the Rockets while White tallied 9 points, seven rebounds and six blocks on the night. Kylee Norman scored 10 points to lead the Jags’ offense.
The Rockets’ first true test in district is Friday, when the Clemens Lady Buffaloes travel up FM 78 to face the Rockets.
Clemens, which did not win a single district game last year, is off to a solid 17-3 start. The Buffs opened a brutal 26-6A schedule Tuesday at perennial power New Braunfels, before they face red hot Judson on Friday, and then travel to take on the current-13-4 Smithson Valley Rangerettes next Tuesday.