Plainview girls basketball coach Andy Bloodworth called a timeout four minutes into the third quarter with the intention of exploiting a weak spot in Durant’s defense.
Senior guard Megan Shelton was the recipient of his message.
When two 3-pointers by Shelton splashed through the net, she said that she could feel her confidence rise.
So did that of her Lady Indians’ teammates.
Shelton’s two 3-pointers and hard-nosed defense by junior Abby Bilsbury ignited a 16-3 run which gave Plainivew the momentum that it needed to pull away from Durant for a 66-39 win at the Plainview Activity Center.
“I think those shots rose my confidence and so it for my teammates,” Shelton said. “We got on a roll in the second half.”
Playing its first game in seven days, Plainview (17-1), ranked No. 3 Class 4A – the highest the Lady Indians have been ranked this season – were a bit sluggish in the first half.
Durant outworked Plainview for inside position on occasion and the Lady Lions were at times unguarded on jump shots.
Durant worked the ball around Plainview’s zone defense to get Breanna Simmons an open jump shot and she converted the field goal to give the Lady Lions their only lead of the first half, 8-6, at the 3:01 mark of the opening quarter.
Shelton and Rebecca Wright answered Simmons’ jump shot with a 3-pointer of their own on consecutive Lady Indians possessions to put Plainview in front 12-8.
Wright was a one-person wrecking crew at times. She shot the ball accurately both inside the 3-point line and rebounded the ball with intensity. She led all scorers in the first half with 16 points. She finished with 20 points.
Then, Plainview’s full-court pressure gave Durant fits.
Plainivew forced 13 first-half turnovers but mental toughness and made shots by Durant prevented the Lady Indians from taking more than a 27-19 halftime lead.
“What they were kind of doing was a little defensive stall game,” Bloodworth said. “They were switching up their defenses.”
To counter Durant’s tactics, one phrase that Plainview mentioned during its halftime talk was what Shelton called “run-outs.”
The Lady Indians got back into their run-and-gun approach over the final two quarters.
Plainview’s accuracy from behind the arc, namely by Shelton and Ally Parham, breathed life into the Lady Indians.
So did Bilsbury’s toughness.
Getting her hands on two steals in the final 90 seconds of the third quarter, the Lady Indians built a comfortable 49-28 lead after three quarters of play.
“You could read their eyes really well. You knew exactly where they were going to pass,” she said.
Plainview 66: Megan Shelton 25, Rebecca Wright 20, Ally Parham 12, Scarlett Runnels 4, MiKaylyn Gerken 2, Rachel Jacobi, Georgia Sheffler, Tori Townley 1