Effort is one thing that first-year Plainview girls basketball coach Mike Dooney knew that he didn’t need to address at halftime of Tuesday’s home opener despite his Lady Indians seeing a 13-point lead dwindle to four points.
The Lady Indians were relentless on the defensive end. They dove to the court to gain possession of loose balls. They battled for rebounds.
Turnovers was the biggest issue that needed to be corrected.
Plainview was apparently listening.
The Lady Indians rode the play of their defense to a 25-2 third-quarter run and never looked back, cruising to a 69-36 rout of the Durant Lady Lions.
“Twenty-five to two, that’s pretty amazing,” Plainview senior Ally Parham said. “We were getting the job done on the defensive end because we know that offense will come with our defense. As long as we get stops, offense will come.”
Downey’s calm halftime speech came after Plainview rode the energy of its home crowd to a 21-8 lead following a made free throw by sophomore Anna Simmons with 1:29 left in the first quarter.
Plainview’s defense was the catalyst, forcing 13 first-half turnovers.
Freshman guard Amiya Howard finished with just four points but her quick side-to-side movement led to several forced turnovers.
Dooney also showered freshman post Peyton Jones with praise.
“She made it tough to score inside,” Dooney said. “She was great.”
Parham finished the night with 23 points on the power of five 3-pointers. Simmons netted 15 points. Senior Rachel Jacobi netted 10 points in the victory.
But just as Plainview appeared in command, Durant’s defense proceeded to turn up the pressure. The Lady Indians trapped by Durant at center court and also committed several unforced turnovers. The Lady Lions finished the first half on an 18-9 run.
Fouls also began to become an issue for the Lady Indians. The Lady Lions shot nine free throws in the second quarter. They were held to two attempts in the third quarter — both misses.
Plainview led 30-26 at halftime.
Simmons said Dooney had one simple message for Plainview at halftime.
“Whenever we came out for halftime, they gave us a talk and told us if we win the first four minutes then we’re going to be set,” Simmons said. “(Coach Dooney) told to come out and have fun, and that’s the most important part. Obviously, we did, and it worked out.”
Plainview (1-1) showed a lot of maturity in the second half for a team that starts two seniors, one sophomore and two freshmen.
Jones made a jump shot on a set inbound play at the 1:55 mark of the third quarter to put Plainview in front 50-26.
“I think we were more patient in the second half,” Parham said. “We were able to reverse the ball and really find the gaps.”
Durant was held scoreless for the first 7:04 of the third. The Lady Lions ended that drought with a six-foot jump shot with 56 seconds left in the quarter. But by that time, Plainview was well ahead 52-25.
“I thought we showed a lot of maturity and that’s what I challenged them in the locker room, to show some maturity and show that we can compete and put teams away that we could,” Dooney said.
Durant 13 13 2 8 — 36
Plainview 22 8 25 14 — 69
Plainview: Ally Parham 23, Anna Simmons 15, Rachel Jacobi 10, Peyton Jones 8, Amiya Howard 4, Tatum Brewster 2, Leah Selensky 2, Tory Townley 2, Kyra Treadwell 2, Ava Blackmon 1.
Durant 6-18; Plainview 10-22
Durant 4; Plainview 6 (Parham 5, Simmons)