MONTGOMERY -- Earlier than expected, Princeton Community basketball girls pressed and shot to a 51-35 Thursday night win over short handed Barr-Reeve, giving them a 4-0 record to take into Friday night's arch rival game vs. visiting Gibson Southern.
"Definitely not our best showing because we weren't focused at the start, maybe because their was not any junior varsity game. But I am proud of our girls for getting a big win on the road," Lady Tigers coach Brittany Maners said.
No JV game was played because injury-plagued Barr-Reeve did not have enough players for two games. "We found out Wednesday that two of our girls would not be playing due to injury," said coach Michael Hopkins, whose Lady Vikings fell to a 1-2 record.
One sidelined player was usual point guard starter Addison Ainscough, a freshman whose injury is described as a possible stress fracture. "We had just one substitute available, and she played just two minutes," Hopkins said.
"We cannot duplicate Princeton's athleticismm and trapping defense. We did not handle it like we should."
Pressing full-court and trapping by double-teaming, the Lady Tigers broke away from a 2-2 tie by scoring 13 straight points in one minute 56 seconds.
After their 26-9 halftime lead was cut to 26-13 early in the third quarter, they went on a 11-0 run to take 37-13 command. 5-7 senior guard and floor leader Kiare Young scored eight points the first quarter and finished with 13, including a pair of three point baskets. 5-8 freshman left hander Reaghan Page scored eight straight points including a pair of threes in the second quarter and hit another three in matching Young's 13 points. 5-7 freshman Hannah Sisk hit a pair of first-quarter threes en route to 10 points. 5-4 junior Keona Louis scored seven points in the fourth quarter to finish with nine.
"Reaghan pulled us out of a rut when she scored those eight quick points," Maners said. "In every game, somebody steps up to pull us out of a rut. We were making steals with our trapping, and as usual we got steady play from Kiare and Hannah."
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5-7 sophomore Kara Hughes, daughter of longtime Barr-Reeve boys coach Bryan Hughes, led the Lady Vikings with 12 points. 5-8 classmate Hannah Bullock hit a trio of threes to finish with 11. 5-10 junior center Rachel Wilson scored all six of her teams first-quarter points and finished with eight.
"Barr-Reeve is solid, and they packed their defense in the paint to keep us from the rim as we wanted," Maners said. "But we hit outside shots and got points from our defense."
Friday, after the 5:30 junior varsity opener, the Lady Tigers will seek a measure of revenge for last year's two losses to Gibson Southern. The Lady Titans won 63-57 on Nov. 18 and 65-58 at Tiger Arena in the Dec. 22 round of the Toyota/Gibson County Teamwork Classic. Before last season, Princeton swept all 10 meetings in the rivalry in the Jackie Young era, from 2012-13 to 2015-16.
"Gibson Southern is very solid. They did not lose anybody from last year's team, and all five of their starters are capable of scoring," Maners said.
"They will play aggressive defense, and they can all shoot the three. Maddie Raley is a really good post player as a sophomore."
"We must be more polished than we were tonight. Our execution must be better, and I am confident that we will come out more focused than tonight."