A slow start didn’t keep the Hays Rebels from overpowering the Lehman Lobos to claim a 48-20 win Friday.
The way both teams began the game, which featured a strange back and forth pattern, provided a slight surprise at the Lobo Den.
Hays and Lehman trudged through the opening eight minutes as the Lobo offense controlled the tempo with a methodical half-court attack. Leading the way for Lehman were guards Meagan Zuniga and Crystal Montoya.
But Lehman was unable to generate points, allowing Hays to capitalize when given an opportunity.
Four points from Rebel guard Gabby Bosquez helped Hays take a 10-0 lead after a quarter of play. Bosquez finished with a game-high 16 points.
The Rebel offense found consistency in the early part of the second frame. Rebel head coach Danny Preuss said the team moved the ball around and obtained “good looks.” Three pointers from Choon Hee Chae and Camille Brown guided Hays to a 19-0 lead with 3:58 left before halftime.
Lehman roared right back with a vengeance by closing the final three-plus minutes with an 11-0 run, which cut the Rebels’ lead to 19-11 at the half. Zuniga tallied all of her team-high five points during the three minute stretch, while Montoya scored three points.
“I talked to the girls about killer instinct before the game started. I thought we did a good job of that through the first 19 points,” Preuss said. “But as we do at times, we relaxed. (Lehman) stepped up, too. They stepped up and made some shots. They didn’t quit.”
Hays forged ahead and stayed a step ahead of Lehman by taking a 28-18 lead with roughly three minutes left in the third frame.
The Rebels’ defense shut the Lobo offense down in the final minutes. Hays outscored Lehman 20-2 in the final 11-plus minutes of the game.
Bosquez tallied 12 points in the second half, while Chae scored nine points.
“In the second half, we were more like a team,” Preuss said. “It allowed us to increase our lead and get a lot of girls in the game.”
Hays closes the first round of district play by traveling to Vista Ridge Friday, then hosts Vandegrift Jan. 17.
Lehman hosts Westlake Friday at the Lobo Den before traveling to Leander on Jan. 20.