Quick basketball lesson: If you keep the other team from scoring, your chances for victory become ridiculously easy.
The Big Spring Lady Steers took that lesson to heart Tuesday, using ferocious defensive pressure to hound the Monahans Lady Loboes into submission en route to a 67-24 non-district basketball victory at Steer Gym Tuesday night.
Big Spring served notice from the start what kind of night it would been when the Lady Steers blanked Monahans in the first quarter — and it barely got better for the Lady Loboes from there.
It was the kind of defensive performance coaches dream of — the Lady Steers were seemingly everywhere on defense, tipping away or stealing passes, blocking shots, cutting off penetration lanes and generally making life miserable for Monahans.
Leading the defensive onslaught was Big Spring's small but lighting-quick guards, in particular Logan Yarbar, who led the team with eight steals and was a major factor behind Monahans committing almost 30 turnovers in the contest.
“She played just a great game on defense,” BSHS Coach Mike Warren said of Yarbar. “All of our guards are good on defense. They're small, but they're quick, and they get up and get after them. They do a good job of getting in front of you, and if you do happen to get by them, then we have our big girls inside waiting.”
Diamond Mayes scored 17 points and Shaunte Anderson and Cerbi Ritchey added 11 and 10 points, respectively, to lead the Lady Steers (19-7 overall) offensively. Monahans, which fell to 4-20 for the season, was led by Patty Azuaje, who scored 6 points.
It wasn't just a matter of the shots not falling for Monahans — for long stretches, the Lady Loboes were unable to get a shot off at all. In particular, they managed only three shots in the first quarter, while committing 12 turnovers.
The Lady Steers, meanwhile, countered with a steady inside scoring punch of Mayes and Ritchey to open up a 17-0 lead after the first quarter, and it was smooth sailing for Big Spring from there.
With a big District 5-3A showdown against Abilene Wylie looming on Friday, Warren was worried his team might overlook Monahans, but those fears proved ungrounded.
“I was pleased with our intensity on defense,” he said. “That's what we've got to do against Wylie Friday — we've got to play defense. They scored 70 points against us the last time we played them, and we can't let that happen again.”
Game time Friday in Abilene is 6 p.m., followed by the boy's contest at 7:30 p.m.
Monahans 0 9 11 4 — 24
Big Spring 17 22 20 8 — 67
MONAHANS (24) — Tyniqua Phillips 1 3-5 5; Mandy Santillan 1 0-0 2; Maddie Haynes 1 0-0 2; Nikki Salazar 1 0-0 3; Elise Dutchover 1 0-0 3; Cassandra Cutbirth 0 0-2 0; Patty Azuaje 3 0-0 6; Andi Breeding 0 3-4 3; totals 8 5-10 24.
BIG SPRING (67) — Ambra Hill 3 0-0 7; Logan Yarbar 0 3-4 3; Shaunte Anderson 4 2-2 11; Dyrshae Vanderbilt 1 1-3 4; Kia Tuitt 3 1-2 7; McKenzie Stone 3 0-0 8; Cerbi Ritchey 4 2-5 10; Diamond Mayes 7 3-5 17; totals 25 12-21 67.
Three-point goals — Monahans (Salazar, Dutchover), Big Spring (Hill, Anderson, Vanderbilt, Stone 2); Total fouls — Monahans 15, Big Spring 14; Fouled out — none; Technicals — none.