Lady Wolves beat Maidens to claim title
CLYDE - As a general rule, coaches spent hours every season preaching the importance of effort and playing good defense. Looks like the Colorado City Lady Wolves have been listening … a lot.
Colorado City certainly stepped up the effort – and because of that, turned in a smothering defensive performance – on Monday evening in their Region I-3A bi-district showdown with the Comanche Maidens. The Lady Wolves forced 32 turnovers in 32 minutes of play and rolled to a 52-36 victory in front of a large crowd in the Clyde High School gym.
“We knew if we played good defense and stopped fouling, we would be OK,” said Kimball, who now leads his team into the area round of the Class 3A playoffs to face either Peaster or Holliday.
Now 23-8 for the year, Colorado City didn’t waste any time in bewitching the Maidens’ offense. The Lady Wolves forced eight Comanche turnovers in the initial 4:25 of the contest and turned that into a quick 7-0 lead.
The news only got worse for the Maidens from there. The CHS defense ramped up the pressure even more. Colorado City forced Comanche into five more turnovers in the remainder of the opening eight minutes of the game and sprinted to a 13-5 lead.
As a team, Comanche committed 13 turnovers in the first quarter.
The Maidens, the No. 2 seed out of the District 6-3A race, looked as if they had gotten on track in the second. Despite committing eight more turnovers in the frame, Comanche managed to pump in 13 points in the quarter – seven of which came via the free throw line - and struggled into the half trailing by nine, at 27-18.
Having taken away much of Comanche’s offense threat with its defense, Kimball said he told his team to focus on eliminating fouls during the half. Fewer fouls meant fewer scoring opportunities, he reminded them.
“That’s what we talked about at the half,” said Kimball. “I said, ‘We’ve got to stop fouling.’”
With that in mind, the Lady Wolves all but eliminated Comanche’s postseason dreams in the first four minutes of the second half. The C-City defense caused eight turnovers in the opening 4:10 of the second half and turned that into a staggering 9-2 run. Colorado City held a commanding 36-20 lead with 3:50 left in the third.
Overall, Kaitlyn Kimball and the C-City offense outscored Comanche by a 14-5 clip in the frame and rolled into the fourth quarter clinging to a 41-23 advantage.
One of eight C-City players to score in the contest, Kimball finished the contest with a game-high 15 points. Conley Niblett narrowly missed reaching double figures in the win, scoring nine.
Taylor Smith drove the final nail into the Comanche coffin early in the fourth. Just 2:10 into the fourth, the Lady Wolves’ standout pushed home back-to-back shots from the floor – netting her only four points of the affair - and ballooned the Colorado City lead to 19, at 47-28.
Comanche posted a 13-11 run in the fourth but it was too little, too late.
Makaylah Rivera and Taylor Epperson joined Kimball and Niblett in turning in solid performances for CHS. Rivera poured in seven points, while Epperson added six. Smith and Kaci Phariss chipped in four, while Alexa Garza added three.