By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla. — The Beaver Lady Dusters rolled right along to victory No. 19 against two losses on Friday night, downing the visiting Texhoma Lady Red Devils 58-37 in the Duster Dome.
No. 11 Beaver (19-2) jumped to a 9-0 lead despite Texhoma’s pressure defense, which the Lady Dusters seemed to handle pretty well for the most part. It was Beaver’s 3-point shooting that nailed the coffin shut early.
“That comes and goes,” Beaver head coach Casey Jones said. “I’m glad it happened tonight, it gave us a good start early in the game and let us kind of settle into our defense.”
Anna McDonald was the early spark. The senor forward hit a trey and a traditional 2-pointer for a 5-0 lead. A steal by Catie Rife — still not 100 percent after missing the Hooker game with illness — stole the ball and dished it to Shelby Brown, who made it 7-0. A steal by McDonald led to a Jordan Jesko basket.
Courtney Sheets finally got Texhoma on the board, but Rife Answered to make it 11-2.
Beaver went on to take a 22-15 lead by the end of the first as Texhoma found its shooting stroke in the form of Sheets, Taysi Peterson and Tabra Elliott. Lyndi Berry and Ann E. Freeman also scored for Texhoma.
While Beaver was handling Texhoma’s press, it was creating some defensive havoc of its own.
“It’s not always all about steals, it’s about making them work so hard and worrying about every pass,” Jones said. “We got to that point, we didn’t get a whole lot of steals off of it, but we made them work real hard to get back and forth. It kinds of keeps them out of their rhythm.”
One could see the difference in the second, as Texhoma (11-8) scored just four points to Beaver’s 13 and the Lady Dusters led 35-19 at the half. Beaver led 49-27 at the end of the third.
“They had a good press and we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Texhoma coach Davis Forsythe said. “When you have about 25 turnovers, get out-rebounded almost double, 28-13, that don’t help matters any.”
Beaver will host Laverne next Friday and travel to an always tough Southwestern Heights team Feb. 8 in Kismet before hosting the district tournament Feb. 11-12. Beaver will watch Laverne and Hooker do battle and play the winner Feb. 12 for the district championship.
McDonald led Beaver with 21 points, including four 3-pointers as Beaver hit six treys for the game. Erin Becker added 13, Rife eight and Jacinda Balderrama seven.
Texhoma was led by Courney Sheets with 14, Lyndi Berry added six, as did Freeman, and Elliott scored five.