The El Campo Ladybirds (8-1) didn’t need big games from seniors Jackie Nichols or Mya Shorter to beat the Bay City Ladycats Friday at Ricebird Gym.
Against the winless Ladycats, the Ladybirds got offense throughout the game as they picked up the 72-25 win in a rout.
El Campo’s first and only loss of the season to Giddings two games ago has seen the Ladybirds answer with two blowout wins over Sweeny and Bay City.
“Giddings was a hard loss for us,” Ladybirds coach Denise Anderson said. “We really didn’t play (Ladybird basketball) until the end and by then we were tired and we couldn’t catch up. I saw a lot of teamwork (against Bay City), a lot of positive and encouragement.”
El Campo’s athletes quickly pushed ahead, outscoring Bay City 21-2 in the first quarter. Behind four three-pointers, three from Shorter and one from fellow senior Alanah Terrell, the Ladybirds took the lead and never looked back.
The Ladybirds with a large early lead were able to get their bench unit much-needed action.
With added playing Ladybirds sophomore point guard Melanie Nunez had a strong game. The backup guard was one of three Ladybirds to finish in double-digit scoring.
Nichols and Shorter both finished with a team-high 11 points, while Nunez added in 10.
Anderson was happy with the defense from the second unit as they created turnovers and picked up steals against Bay City’s starters.
“Nunez has been nervous (playing on varsity), but tonight she just blossomed. She took off, making multiple steals and baskets and was more aggressive,” Anderson said. “(Senior) Rhea Eide, the same thing. She was aggressive on rebounding, shooting and steals.”
In years past, the Ladybirds could not afford to rest Nichols. Without Nichols on the court, it shifted Shorter to point guard which limits her effectiveness leading fast breaks. Nunez offers a Nichols needed rest minutes while letting Shorter continue to do damage at the top of the offense.
“Sometimes I get real nervous but when I’m out there I just (try and) forget about it and do my job out there and do what Jackie does and put some points up,” Nunez said.
The Ladybirds won’t play again until Dec. 29 when they play Victoria West at Ricebird Gym at noon.