Tex wrecks: JPII guard pulls Lady Cards away from Prestonwood
In a game of runs, the Prestonwood Christian Academy girls basketball team loaded their chamber and fired away in Friday night's third quarter against John Paul II.
The Lady Cardinals had the great equalizer and didn't budge, returning fire for an eventual 41-33 victory -- their ninth in as many matchups with the Lady Lions.
"Prestonwood has a really good team and they match up really well with us," said Mark Martin, John Paul head coach. "On the road, we just feel fortunate to come away with a win like this."
John Paul (3-0 in district) limited Prestonwood (1-2) to eight points and only three made field goals to lead, 18-8, at halftime. Yet the Lady Cardinals found themselves clinging to an 18-17 edge midway through the third quarter courtesy of a 9-0 run by the Lady Lions to open the second half. Seniors Marina Muenster and Antoinette Iroko, who respectively scored 10 and seven points, exploited Prestonwood's size advantage and senior Taylor Cash followed with a corner 3-pointer to draw the Lady Lions within one.
Enter John Paul senior Kindell Texada.
After bagging one of her five steals and converting a 3-pointer on the other end for a 21-17 lead with three minutes left, Texada punctuated the quarter with another trey in transition -- this time from well beyond the arc -- for a 26-19 lead John Paul would hold for the remainder of the period.
"Up to that point, I thought we did a good job on Texada," said Steve Murray, Prestonwood head coach. "We wanted to pound the ball in and get (John Paul senior) Claire (Ricketts) in foul trouble, but I don't know if we closed to gap when she was out of the game."
Texada took control from there, scoring 15 of her game-high 22 points in the second half and scoring 15 of John Paul's final 23 points in the win.
"I didn't want [Texada] taking that one shot from about 30 feet, but she made it," Martin said. "With Kindell, you get some great stuff and then some stuff that's a bit questionable, but she makes big plays and we needed those."
Ricketts added 12 points and 10 boards as John Paul built its lead back up to 40-28 inside the game's final minute.
It was the largest lead the Lady Cardinals had enjoyed all night in a game where offense was tough to come by. Credit the defense, which limited offense in half-court sets by both teams. Prestonwood especially made its plan apparent from the onset by shadowing Texada with Iroko while the other four players fluctuated between man and zone.
The Lady Lions' undoing proved to be 11 first-half turnovers, the bulk of which turned into points on the other end.
"[John Paul] had 18 points in the first half and I think maybe six were from their offensive set," Murray said. "The rest were in transition or on second-chance shots. The girls were helping well and we were limiting Texada's touches."
"In our defense, we're going to give up some shots, but we try to give up the shots that we want to give up," Martin added. "In the first half, I thought we did a good job of that ... but once we got in foul trouble, our rebounding suffered a bit."
The Lady Cardinals seized their first lead behind a bank 3-ball from junior Arabella DeAngelis for a 5-3 edge and didn't look back as John Paul remained unbeaten in district to set up Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. matchup at Argyle Liberty Christian.
Prestonwood travels to Trinity Christian-Addison at that same time.
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