by Moses Leos III
Stifling defense Tuesday allowed the Hays Lady Rebels (15-7, 5-1) to dispatch the Waller Lady Bulldogs 48-12 in the last game of the 2014 calendar year at Bales Gym.
But the 12 points conceded by Hays matches the third fewest points given up by the program in the last 20 years.
Hays junior Tara Ramsey and sophomore Choon Hee Chae each scored a game-high 11 points, with senior Maddie Zapata adding ten points.
Tuesday’s effort marked the second time Hays has held an opponent to under 20 points this season. However, it's also the fewest points given up since the 2004-2005 campaign; that Hays team held an opponent to 11 points in its season opener. Holding Waller to 12 points matches the total given up during a game in the 1998-1999 season.
But Hays narrowly missed the mark of eight points conceded in a game 15 years ago.
Hays began Tuesday’s game by taking a 13-2 lead after a quarter. Nine of the Lady Rebels’ 13 first quarter points were scored by Ramsey. The trend continued into the second stanza as Hays outscoring Waller 19-2.
Ramsey attributed success to ball movement on offense. She also said the team “came out with intensity” after a week off. Chae said the team practiced well prior to Tuesday’s game.
“I knew we’d come out strong, but I didn’t know we’d come out scoring immediately,” Ramsey said. “I liked how my team kept going and kept pushing.”
According to Lady Rebel head coach Danny Preuss, the team’s defensive pressure was a factor in limiting Waller’s offense. But a key change was the implementation the zone defense. Preuss said the team ran the zone defense for “90 percent” of the game. Going to a zone was done to prepare for Friday’s game against the Bowie Lady Bulldogs.
“We never run zone defense, but I think we might need that against Bowie,” Preuss said.
Leading 32-4 at half, Hays gave up only eight more points to Waller the rest of the way. The Lady Rebels’ lead allowed Preuss to give playing time to every player on the Hays bench.
The focus now lies on a pivotal district matchup with the state ranked Bowie Lady Bulldogs (17-2) on Friday. Bowie leads 14-6A with a 5-0 record and is the only unbeaten team left in district play.
Combating Bowie’s size and speed is the challenge, according to Chae and Ramsey. Ramsey said taking control of pace of play could be the key against Bowie.
“It will be a tough game. We need to score and come out with intensity. Maybe more [intensity]then we had [against Waller],” Chae said.
Playing to the team’s capability could go a long way, according to Preuss.
“We know it’s going to be a tall order, but we are going to throw everything we have at them,” Preuss said, who went on to say, “We got to not them exploit our weaknesses, and maybe exploit a few of theirs.”
Hays' game against Bowie tips off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bales Gym.
Fewest points conceded by the Hays Lady Rebels (since 1994-1995)
*information gathered from the Hays Lady Rebel basketball team website
8 — Hays 80, Woodrow Wilson 8 (2000-2001)
11 — Hays 67, BCS 11 (2004-2005)
12 — Hays 48, Waller 12 (2014-2015); Hays 54, Smithson Valley 12 (1998-1999)
14 — Hays 61, Laredo Martin 14 (2014-2015); Hays 51, Lockhart 14 (2013-2014); Hays 44, Lehman 14 (2007-2008)