PADUCAH — Destiny Thomas nearly single-handedly took down the Lady Lakers last night in Region 1 action for the Lady Mustangs. The freshman poured in 30 points in the 58-45 win, and the Lady Lakers are still searching for their first win of the season, now 0-3.
The first quarter was a good one for Calloway as they took an 11-10 lead to end the quarter, but that was the last time they led all night. McCracken switched into a zone defense in the second quarter and started to frustrate Charlee Settle in the paint, which forced the others to knock down outside shots, and they didn’t.
“We struggled shooting the basketball from the outside, our guards struggled a little bit just getting that open shot and moving the basketball around,” Waller said. “They were pinning down on Charlee and they have 10 people they can put on her and they can foul 10 people out, and that was their plan, and it’s a good game plan. I would do the same thing if I could. I just felt like we didn’t get the shots that we needed.”
Every time the Lady Lakers made a run, the Lady Mustangs had an answer. With their star freshman, they continued to build their lead and take it to Calloway on the defensive end of the floor.
“We didn’t slow her (Thomas) down, so it’s pretty difficult,” Waller said. “She’s not only a good athlete, but she’s also just really smart. She’s got a lot of basketball IQ and a lot of basketball sense. She just does a lot of little things, and it’s hard to slow those things down. I thought she was a beast on the boards offensively.”
Settle did her best to keep the Lady Lakers close with her 25 points, but she only grabbed four rebounds and was visibly frustrated when she fouled out in the final two minutes.
The one moment of life came to start the second half as Calloway trailed by six. They tied it up on a quick run, but the Lady Mustangs stayed focused and rebounded literally and figuratively.
“We came out hot in the third quarter and scored six points and coach Sivills called a timeout,” Waller said. “They responded and we didn’t. We went five possessions without scoring and I felt like that really hurt us.”
Thomas scored 12 straight in the third quarter and essentially put the game away ion the fourth. Meanwhile, Settle was shut down to the tune of just three points in the third.
At the end of the day, Waller knew this was going to be a tough game and that her team is still in the process of growing and learning. Outside of Settle and Elle Carson, they are a group of underclassmen, and have a seventh-grader starting, and playing pretty well considering.
“We’re young and that’s part of growing and learning how to win, to be honest, but those are growing pains, especially at this point in the season,” Waller said.
Carson finished with eight points, and Skylar Waller finished with five, on a night where scoring, by anyone not named Settle, was hard to come by.
The Lady Lakers will look to get their first win of the season when they take on the Murray High School Lady Tigers in crosstown action on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Lady Lakers are hosting the rivalry match up, and the gym is expected to be packed. Murray High is now 2-1 on the season after a 49-28 win at Hickman County. It should make for a very entertaining game.