Early Saturday morning in the Denton Summer Shootout, the Lady Raiders couldn't miss. But the hot shooting vanished in their next game against the North Texas Shockers later in the afternoon.
After picking up their only pool play victory with a 48-30 victory over the San Angelo Heat, the Lady Raiders, made up of players from Ryan, shot just 31 percent (10-of-32) in a 42-25 loss to the Shockers at Billy Ryan Gymnasium. The Lady Raiders, competing in the 11th-12th-Grade Division of the tournament, opened up with a 17-16 loss to Brock on Friday night.
“It was like what happened last [Friday] night,” Lady Raider head coach Richard Ray said. “Last night, nothing was falling at all, and we only scored 16 points. Earlier today, we had a game, and we were making everything. When we play a better team — and we knew we'd have to change our game up against this team — we knew we had to make the shots to beat them.”
The Lady Raiders, who begin bracket play at 9 a.m. today, scored the first five points of the game on buckets by Alex Ray and Keidra Williams and a Michelle Gramling free throw. However, they scored just two more points in the ensuing 14:20 on a Ray layup with 9:52 left, helping the Shockers grab a 16-7 lead.
Ray finally halted the run when she connected on a 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the first half. But the Shockers scored the final five points of the half to take a 21-10 lead at the break.
The Lady Raiders, playing without 6-5 rising senior center Johanna Taylor, were 4-of-16 from the field in the first half and just 1-of-7 from both the free-throw line and the perimeter. Ray scored seven of the team's 10 points in the first 20 minutes, although that was also what she finished up with.
Williams scored on a putback to start the second half and cut the Shocker lead to nine. However, Roxana Button, who goes to Coppell, countered with a layup and free throw to extend the lead to 12 points. The Shockers led by double digits for the remainder of the contest.
“There was a period there in the second half that they got kind of rattled a little bit and lost their composure,” Richard Ray said of his team. “The last three games they've been really good with the turnover rate and the defense has really been good. It's just the lack of offense last night and in this game plagued them.”
Liberty Christian's Madison Middle is playing for the Shockers. After going scoreless for nearly 36 minutes, Middle scored seven points down the stretch to finish as the team's second-leading scorer.
“We didn't play as good as we could,” Middle said. “We had to fight back.”
Button led all scorers with 18 points, while teammate Alicia Mitcham of West Mesquite grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Courtney Starks also had seven points for the Lady Raiders, while Gramling led the team in rebounding with eight. Ray added three steals.
CHUCK COX can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
North Texas Shockers 42, Lady Raiders 25
North Texas Shockers 21 21 — 42
Lady Raiders 10 15 — 25
North Texas Shockers — Brittany Ward-Shield 1, Jasmine Ford 2, Madison Middle 7, Adriene Easley 1, Lauren Dunn 1, Linsey Hodgkiss 2, Roxana Button 18, Brittany Wilson 4, Alicia Mitcham 6.
Lady Raiders — Michelle Gramling 1, Emily Paramore 4, Alex Ray 7, Kim Hyde 2, Keidra Williams 4, Courtney Starks 7.