Lady Coyotes dominate early, cruise past San Jon in EPAC

By Dave Wagner

TEXICO — Pressure defense overwhelmed the San Jon girls early in Tuesday’s EPAC Tournament opener.
Dora harassed San Jon into 11 first-quarter floor errors and the Lady Coyotes cruised to a 69-43 victory.
Senior Kassandra Clark was the beneficiary of the early opportunities, scoring 14 of her game-high 25 points in the opening stanza. Senior D’Shawn Pettigrew and junior Rana Terry each had 13 points for the Lady Coyotes (4-5), while Pettigrew also dished out 11 assists.
Dora coach Myra Skinner, whose team faces host Texico (7-2) in a 6:30 p.m. quarterfinal game today, was pleased with her senior standouts.
“They contributed more tonight than they have for the last few games,” Skinner said. “We had better ball movement, and that creates lots of options for everybody.”
After a 2-2 tie, the Lady Coyotes ripped off the next 14 points to take control. The lead went into double figures for good late in the first quarter.
San Jon (0-7), which has only one senior and one junior on its 12-player roster, played more competitively as the game went on but couldn’t overcome the slow start.
“We’ve got a young team,” San Jon coach A.J. Laird said. “Our goal was to block out (on the boards) and we didn’t do that.
This is definitely a learning year for us.”
Junior guard Ja Tawn Slutz tried to keep San Jon — also the “Lady Coyotes” — in the game early, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 10 points in the first quarter. But she managed only three more points the rest of the way.
Dora, which didn’t miss a free throw until the final period, finished with 29 turnovers to 30 for San Jon. But it obviously wasn’t a factor.
“We did some good things, but we still have some things to work out,” Skinner said. “Conditioning is still a factor. We need to get some floor time in for some of these (younger) girls so as the season progresses we’ll have more depth.”

Elida 50, House 38 — The Lady Tigers rode a strong second quarter past the Cowgirls.
Senior Adrienne Coe (16) and junior Kodi Armitage provided much of the offensive punch for Elida (8-3), which will play either Texico or Dora in a 4:15 p.m. semifinal game on Friday.
Only three players scored for House (3-7), led by Lindsey Lee with six of the team’s eight 3-pointers and 26 points.

Grady 65, Floyd 22 — The Lady Bronchos ran away to a 40-14 halftime lead and were never threatened.
Grady (7-4) put three players in double figures, led by Aerial Verble with 17 points. Jennifer Blackburn added 15, and Brittany Bailey scored 12.
Senior Noel Carpenter scored 12 points to lead Floyd (5-6).
Grady will meet either Fort Sumner or Melrose in a 2:30 p.m. semifinal on Friday. Floyd takes on Logan in a 3:05 p.m. consolation bracket game today.

Dora 69, San Jon 43
San Jon (0-7) —
Diana Caldera 3, Niki Kneitz 1, Janay Brashear 5, Gabby Stoner 5, Ja Tawn Slutz 13, Danielle Lee 8, Bittany Slutz 3, Nicole Martinez 5. Totals 15 11-23 43.
Dora (4-5) — Jennifer Bolin 1, Tearney O’Connor 5, D’Shawn Pettigrew 13, Jena Bilberry 8, Julissa Melendez 2, Rana Terry 13, Kassandra Clark 25, Audra Pinkston 2. Totals 26 17-25 69.
San Jon 15 6 9 13 — 43
Dora 26 16 9 18 — 69
3-pointers — San Jon (2): J. Slutz 2. Dora: none.

Grady 65, Floyd 22
Floyd (5-6) —
Brandi Piaz 2, Kelli Johnson 2, Darcee Chenault 2, Noel Carpenter 12 Jewlie Piaz 4. Totals 8 6-8 22.
Grady (7-4) — Jennifer Franklin 7, Jennifer Blackburn 15, Taris Pond 8, Aerial Verble 17, Alora Pond 2, Jessalyn Murray 2, Brittany Bailey 11, P. Provencio 3. Totals 26 9-15 65.
Floyd 8 6 5 3 — 22
Grady 17 23 20 5 — 65
3-pointers — Floyd: none. Grady (4): Bailey 2, Pond 2.

Elida 50, House 38
House (3-7) —
Sara Lee 8, Lindsey Lee 26, Kimberly Lyons 4. Totals 12 6-14 38.
Elida (8-3) — Alicia Cross-Smith 5, Casey Ford 6, Kodi Armitage 15, Janice Taylor 1, Amber Griffin 5, Adrienne Coe 16, Shalie Anthony 2. Totals 20 9-16 50.
House 8 5 7 18 — 38
Elida 8 13 7 22 — 50
3-pointers — House (8): L. Lee 6, S. Lee 2. Elida (1): Smith.

EPAC Tournament
At Texico
Girls
Tuesday’s games
Game 1:
Melrose 64, Logan 43
Game 2: Dora 69, San Jon 43
Game 5: Grady 65, Floyd 22
Game 6: Elida 50, House 38
Wednesday’s games
Game 9:
Fort Sumner vs. Melrose, 3:05 p.m., new gym
Game 10: Texico vs. Dora, 6:30 p.m., new gym
Thursday’s games
Game 13:
Logan vs. Floyd, 3:05 p.m., old gym
Game 14: House vs. San Jon, 3:05 p.m., new gym
Game 17: Game 9 loser vs. Game 11 loser, 6:30 p.m., old gym