Keith Allen wants to maximize his team’s potential. Tuesday night was a good start.
Vista Ridge kicked off district play with a 69-46 win at home over Round Rock. It was the third win in a row for the Lady Rangers, while the Lady Dragons have dropped five in a row, including their district opener against state-ranked Hendrickson.
“Any time you get a district win in this district, it’s a good thing,” Allen said. “They found a way to get it done. At times early on they were really good. We’re a young team and they made some mistakes, but it’s going to be good to have on film.”
Sophomore A.J. Marotte led the scoring for Vista Ridge with 23 points, while junior Zion Neat added 17 points and junior point guard Victoria Baker scored 10. Briyaun Stewart and Jasmyn Taylor each finished with six points.
Jaaucklyn Moore led the way for Round Rock with 17 points while Hannah Groff and Carley Altenburger added 10 points each.
“(Vista Ridge) came out and played well,” Round Rock catch Pecos McDaniel said. “They jumped on us early and put us in a big hole. The second half became out and fought. We haven't been able to put four quarters together. We wanted to get comfortable”
Marotte and Baker each scored six points apiece in the first quarter, and Baker ended it with style as she drove tot he hoop and made a reverse layup while falling to the ground just before the buzzer.
Vista Ridge continued that trend in the second quarter, outscoring Round Rock 20-9. But the Lady Dragons came back in the second half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth to cut the lead down.
“We’re competitors,” Allen said. “We talked about this game and we knew we needed o to bring a lot of energy and they responded to that. We've got a long way to go and we’re learning every day. But they’re hungry.”
The Lady Rangers won games against Georgetown and Liberty Hill before Tuesday night and will head to the Pflugerville Tournament this weekend.
“We were exceptionally young last year and we have most of the kids back from last year,” Allen said. “We’ve got some good players, but we’re making some young mistakes. I want to make this team as good as it can possibly be.”
This is the first year for McDaniel at Round Rock. He spent three years at Vista Ridge before joining the Cedar Park staff as an assistant football and boys basketball coach to help coach his son, Drew.
The Lady Dragons will participate at the Northwest ISD Tournament this weekend and play a non-district next Tuesday against Smithville.
“The coaching staff is new and we’re trying to get used to them and they’re trying to get used to us,” McDaniel said. “It will come. We’ve been trying new things, but the first part of December, we’ve got to beset. Whatever we are, we’re going to go with it.”