Once and again: North girls continue win streak against Boyd
They may not be in the same district or enrollment classification, but they're cross-town rivals all the same.
The No. 9 ranked McKinney North girls basketball team topped McKinney Boyd 64-30 Tuesday night at home.
"You always want to beat your cross-town rival," said Michael Oldham, North head coach. "Overall, I'm pleased with our consistency in scoring. That was a thorn in our side last year."
The Lady Bulldogs' victory moves them to 7-2 on the year while the Lady Broncos see their three-game win streak come to an end, as they fall to 6-4.
"You have to give North credit," said Rochelle Vaughn, Boyd head coach. "They made a lot of outside shots, a lot of tough shots, they made some runs in the lane and they had some girls make some open threes with hands in their faces. They played better than we did tonight."
North's win continues its recent dominance in the battle between the cross-town rivals.
"This group of girls, especially our seniors, they've never beaten McKinney North before and that was one of our goals, and sometimes it's hard to get over that hump," Vaughn said. "We didn't play hard enough to win. It's a process for us. We need to build up our confidence and come onto the court and expect to win. When that happens, it's easier when things get hard."
Almost every player in North's starting five reached double digits. Alexis Mason led the way with 13, followed by Amy Kleynhans and Mikaehla Connor, who each had 12. Chanterria Jackson also contributed, scoring nine, while Jocelyn Scott had eight.
"We have some good depth," Oldham said. "Among the first five, offensively, all of them can score. Even beyond that, from our bench every player we put into the game scored."
As for Boyd, Haley Carruthers led the Lady Broncos with 16 points, more than half of her team's total. Jordan Brightwell also had a productive game, scoring eight.
In addition to Carruthers and Brightwell, Vaughn was also pleased with the play from freshman Jordynn Hernandez.
"I like that my freshman kept playing hard," she said. "She played well in the second half, was very aggressive. That's a positive."
The Lady Broncos, however, were forced to play without Julia Hendrieth, the team's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. She missed the game due to a strep throat.
Boyd struggled with its ball control, letting North gain its advantage.
"For us specifically it was turnovers," Vaughn said. "We gave them easy points, two points every time we turned the ball over. We came in with the idea to slow them down, because we knew they had a high-powered offense."
In particular, North made its move in the second half as the Lady Bulldogs began to pull away.
"We came out of halftime," Oldham said, "and held them to one field goal and two free throws for four points in the third quarter, and we scored 14, so that stretched our lead out right there."
Even in the victory, Oldham knows there's always room for improvement.
"I can't say I liked everything I saw," he said. "We turned the ball over 18 times, which bothers me. And we only got 26 rebounds, we almost got out-rebounded, so there are still areas we need to improve in."
Given the intense knowledge both teams have for each other, Oldham said there was no pop talk needed to get his Lady Bulldogs ready to play the Lady Broncos.
"They know that going in," Oldham said. "It's kind of like a lot of our games since we play so many tough ranked teams [like Plano West and Highland Park]. The girls embrace that and look forward to games like this. These kids know each other so well with many of them playing against each other since they were in sixth grade."
The two schools may be rivals, but it's based on mutual respect for each other's program. When Oldham looks at Vaughn in her first-year as the Boyd head coach, he sees a lot of similarities in how his program was when he first arrived at North.
"They got a new coach and they're learning a new system and that's always tough," he said. "That was a bit of our inconsistency last year since it was the girls' first year with me. I know Coach Vaughn will get a lot accomplished over there. She has a good staff and some good talent coming up."
Both teams return to action Thursday in the Collin County Roundball Classic. Boyd begins its tournament action at 1 p.m. against Duncanville.
"We need to be more fearless," Vaughn said. "They're going to be a good test for us because they're a really good team. I told our team this week will be a good barometer for how we measure up. I posed it to them, 'Are we going to fall or are we going to rise to the challenge?'"
North, meanwhile, gets started at 7 p.m. against Frisco Liberty. North is eyeing a potential matchup later in the tournament with Plano West, which recently beat North, 71-59 on Nov. 19.
"Our goal is to get to the semifinals where we could match up with Plano West again," he said. "I know my girls want another shot at them, because that's the way they are. That's something they're looking forward to and have desire for."