PLEASANTON—It would have been hard to ask for a better start from the Pleasanton girls basketball team in its district opener Friday night against Beeville.
The Lady Eagles did everything right—defending the Lady Trojans’ top player and hitting 3-point shots—to race out to a 10-point lead early in the second quarter.
And then things took a turn in favor of visiting Beeville.
Raeann Flores sunk consecutive 3-pointers for the Lady Trojans to spark an 18-0 flurry that saw Beeville take control of the game en route to a 44-37 win at the Pleasanton ISD Sports Complex. After the back-breaking run to end the first half, the Lady Eagles never got closer than four points.
“That second quarter is what really got us,” Pleasanton coach Daryl Rentfro said. “We were really trying, going into the game, to play a complete game, not three good quarters.”
Flores had all 14 of her points in the momentum-swinging second period. Twice she hit back-to-back 3-pointers, scoring all but six of the Lady Trojans’ points in the quarter.
“We just had some miscommunication,” Rentfro said of guarding Flores. “She hit two [3-pointers] in transition and we just didn’t cover it. It was a focus going into the game, knowing where she was the entire time, but in the heat of the moment, breakdowns happen like that.”
Beeville led 24-16 at halftime despite a slow start from 6-foot-3 sophomore post Kamaria Gipson. Gipson, who finished with a game-high 22 points, scored only five points in the first half despite using her noticeable size advantage to get to the free-throw line.
Gipson missed her first seven attempts and finished 8-for-21 from the charity stripe. She converted a three-point play late in the third quarter to keep the game out of reach.
“She uses her body well,” Rentfro said. “She’s skilled, too, especially a lot of improvement from last year. I thought our girls tried their hardest, but sometimes having a really skilled post player is hard to go up against.”
Sophomore Baylee Bauer hit a 3-pointer with just over three minutes remaining in the period to pull Pleasanton within 27-23, but Gipson’s and-1 basket halted the comeback attempt.
It was also the sophomore’s defense around the rim that helped limit the Lady Eagles to five field goals after halftime.
“Seeing that presence there in the middle is definitely going to deter some of those shots going up,” Rentfro said. “Our mid-range game was actually better than in games past. I think at times we just fell in love with the 3-point line.”
Messiah San Miguel and Harper Brymer each scored a team-best eight points for Pleasanton. Brymer had seven of her points in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Eagles (10-12, 0-1 district) took a break from the district schedule to face Center Point at home Tuesday. Pleasanton returns to District 30-4A action Friday at Poteet (6-15, 0-1).
“It’s all about effort and execution,” Rentfro said. “…Everybody in our district’s a good team. Any given night, anybody can beat anybody. So just making sure we take care of what we can take care of [is key].”