Timely three-point shooting and pressure defense was the difference maker for the Dripping Springs Lady Tigers (8-8) in a 46-33 win over the Rouse Raiders Dec. 7.
“I just saw us finish,” Dripping Springs head coach David Norris said. “We’ve been starting slow in other games, but we finished strong. We came out third quarter and had a little dip, but then we picked it back up and did what we needed to win. So that’s a sign of maturity and that we are maturing.”
After a close first quarter where Dripping Springs took a 12-6 lead, the Lady Tigers found their range as they hit multiple three-point shots in the second quarter. Dripping Springs led Rouse 27-10 at halftime.
Senior point guard Kennedy Donovan and sophomore wing Caroline Gamble scored all of Dripping Springs’ 15 points in the second quarter. Donovan was all over the court as she had 5 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and 1 steal in the quarter, while Gamble caught fire and scored 10 points, including two big shots from three-point range.
“Now you can run sets, and they can’t key on one person,” Norris said. “When we push it up the floor, if they don’t come out and guard us, then we have the green light to shoot. So we’ve been doing that.”
Dripping Springs’ clutch three-point shooting continued in the third quarter as sophomore Ally Beck jumped into the mix and knocked down two of them, while Donovan contributed another five points.
The Lady Tigers led 41-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
While the offense was knocking down big shot after big shot, the Lady Tigers’ defense pressured the Lady Raiders all game, forcing tough shots and turnovers. Dripping Springs’ defense set the tone for the game and didn’t ease up.
“I felt a lot better about it,” said Norris. “We’ve been up and down with it. Our man defense really pressured them into some bad shots. On the boards we could’ve been a little stronger at the end, but I was very pleased how we came out and played on defense.”
Donovan finished with 11 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds; Gamble ended the game with 13 points and 3 rebounds. Other key contributors in the win for Dripping Springs was Kline Stafford, who had 3 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block, and Beck with 6 points and 4 rebounds.
“We are hitting district now so we need to be clicking on all cylinders,” Norris said. “We are looking at winning a district championship, so we got to get after it. We are going to improve in every phase of the game every day.”
The Lady Tigers entered district play Dec. 11 against Travis. Dripping Springs hosts Crockett Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.