Girls’ basketball: Grimmett, Clear Lake top Pearland
Not necessarily gifted with a go-to player, the Clear Lake girls’ basketball team often finds that situation more of a blessing than not.
Against Pearland Thursday, the Lady Falcons did what they needed to do – seek out the teammate with hot hand and feed her.
That player turned out to be senior guard Hannah Grimmett, whose four 3-point bombs paved the way to a 44-39 non-district victory at the Lady Oiler gym.
“Hannah Grimmett had another great game,” Lake head coach Kirby Killingsworth said. “She finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and carried us in a couple of stretches.
“We were able to run some delay offense and she was able to hit some threes, the last one which was a dagger.”
It was Grimmett’s trey with 5:53 left that gave Lake a 36-28 lead, and the Lady Falcons never allowed Pearland (16-7) to get closer than four points the remainder of the game.
While the matchup was close the majority of the way, Lake never lost the lead after taking a 16-14 edge at 3:54 in the second quarter on a basket by Lexi Graham.
The Lady Falcons (15-5) built a 28-20 advantage in the third quarter before Pearland trimmed the lead to 28-26 on a Macey Braswell basket at the two-minute mark.
However, Lake post Tara Kessner scored inside and Grimmett nailed another 3-pointer for a 33-26 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Grimmett hit two treys in the final period and her two free throws gave the Lady Falcons their biggest advantage at 41-30 with 1:19 left.
Pearland, though, rallied furiously with nine points in the final 79 seconds.
“I know Pearland’s had some injuries, but they’re a hard-working group,” Killingsworth said. “They get after it and don’t lay down…that’s for sure.
“Amanda Lawrence had some nice buckets for us to start the second half, and we built a little momentum. It was kind of a sloppy game coming back from the holiday break, but we found a way to win.”
Pearland head coach Lauren Martens knows her injury-riddled team has to find ways to create opportunities with its two leading scorers – 6-3 post Deyona Gaston and guard Cierra Lane -- sidelined for the season.
The Lady Oilers’ comeback attempt was stymied by eight missed free throws in the second half.
“Our ability to execute is the big thing for us,” Martens said. “Missed free throws and mental lapses hurt us.
“Lake is a team that is very well-coached, and if you are slow on rotating, they’ll make you pay for it. But I’m proud of my girls for our effort.
“With all the young players, we’re now trying to create a new identity. We have scrappy kids who work hard and hustle.”
Junior Jocelyn Thompson drove strong to the basket for Pearland while Braswell, Julia Gonzales and Ravae Payne provided positive energy at the guard positions.
“We’re a guard-heavy team, and we have to go back to what our strengths are,” Martens said. “Nobody likes to lose, but this is a game that helps us get ready for the rest of the district race.”
Pearland, 2-0 in District 23-6A, is still very much a league title contender.
“The younger kids have to find their place and step up,” Martens said. “We see what level we need to be at, and it’s just a matter of doing the right things to get there.
“We made a great run at the end, got in Lake’s face, and made them make plays. If we can do the simple things correctly, it makes everything else about our game better.”