Delaney Markham led the charge for the #5 seeded Lady Bears with 17 points, and freshmen Kaya Ingram pitched in 9 points of her own as the Lady Bears took a 51-33 win over #12 seeded Centennial in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament.
The Bears started off slow in the 1st quarter, trailing 10-3 when it was all over. Offenses on both sides of the ball were not clicking, especially for the Lady Bears, who could not finish shots. It was still more of the same story in the 2nd quarter, but the Bears outscored the Hawks 12-6. Tempers flared with head coach Robert Perea of the Bears receiving a technical foul for disagreeing with a call, and the Hawks head coach Lori Selby receiving a bench warning for stepping out of the coaches box, both mid 2nd-quarter.
But it was what Coach Perea said to the ladies in the locker room at halftime that got them motivated. “At half, Coach Perea told us that we needed to keep driving to the basket because that would help open things. Also, he told us to keep pressuring them because they didn’t do well with it,” Markham told The Edition.
The Lady Bears got on a hot streak, outscoring the Lady Hawks 36-17 in the second half, according to the Albuquerque Journal, and that was all thanks to their defense. “I think we outscored them by shutting down their best players and making them turn the ball over on the press,” Markham said. The Lady Bears used a full-court press defense to create turnovers and make open layups in transition. And unfortunately for the Lady Hawks, they could not answer.
Brooklyn Calderazzo was the leading scorer for the Lady Hawks with 10, along with Kaela Chavez and Merrell Gomez scoring 8 points. For the Lady Bears, besides Markham and Ingram, Noir Hawash pitched in with 8 points, Rachael Hathoot and Brynn Wade had 6. The Lady Bears will face Las Cruces in the quarterfinals at the Santa Ana Star Center on Tuesday, March 7th.