Cedar Park girls basketball coach Donny Ott was expecting a good start after good practices on Saturday and Monday.
But he had no idea Tuesday’s game was going to begin the way it did.
The No. 15 Lady Timberwolves scored the first 13 points of the game and held on to beat No. 11 Rouse 51-44 at home to stay perfect at 5-0 in district play. It was their seventh straight win and 10th victory in the last 11 games.
“The start gave us confidence that we can play with these girls,” Donny Ott said. “We knew that Rouse ran a zone (defense) and they were going to be some of the stiffer competition in the district. We were locked in on their shooters early.”
Cedar Park senior Jordan Ott scored eight of the first 11 points and finished with a team-best 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Sophomore Nicole Leff scored eight points while Alex Maresca and Kilee West each added seven.
Rouse was led by Ashley Onyango with 17 points and Ashley Thompson with 16 points and Emily Schaible was the next highest scorer with five points. The Lady Raiders hit one 3-pointer the entire game.
“We had a bye on Friday and having that time off got us out of our routine,” Rouse head coach Lori McDonald said. “They came out on fire and we weren’t moving with the ball. We’ve got to hit the boards better and make free throws to come back from such a deficit.”
Cedar Park’s blazing start was stopped when Rouse scored its first points more than three minutes into the game. The Lady Raiders started to get some offense going as the quarter went on, but Cedar Park hit a jumper at the buzzer to make it 21-8 after the first.
Rouse started to cut into the lead in the second quarter. A timeout followed by the Lady Raiders jumper cut the lead to single digits. A 5-0 run by the Lady Raiders and a last-second layup by Thompson cut the lead to one possession at the half.
Jordan Ott scored 17 of her 20 points in the first half.
“We all work so hard in practice that when it comes to the games, it comes so easy and we get in the flow of it,” Jordan Ott said. “Even when we miss a shot, it gives our teammates great opportunities to score.”
Cedar Park scored nine of the first 13 points in the third quarter and held Rouse to eight points in the period. The Lady Raiders made a little run to make it a three points game in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Timberwolves went 7 of 12 from the free throw line to put the game away.
“These girls are super competitive and they hate to lose,” McDonald said. “The good thing is we get to play everybody twice. So we’ll come back and make some adjustments and see if we can play a better game at home.”
The rematch is Jan. 23 at Rouse.
Rouse hosts Cedar Creek Friday at 7 p.m. before traveling to face defending district champion Georgetown next Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Cedar Park has a bye on Friday and will put its winning streak on the line on the road against Cedar Creek next Tuesday night.
“What I was most proud was that we never relinquished the lead,” Donny Ott said. “(Rouse is) a great team and they were pushing us to the brink and we never broke. I was proud that we kept our composure.”