Friendswood protecting ball better in seven-game win streak
Daron Scott certainly doesn’t mind talking about his team’s recent wave of success, mostly because there’s no well-guarded secret behind it.
The Friendswood Lady Mustang basketball team is riding a seven-game win streak with the majority of those victories coming in District 22-5A play, which makes the current skein even more enjoyable.
“I told the girls the No. 1 reason we’re winning is because we’re taking care of the ball better,” said Scott, Friendswood’s head coach. “Turnovers were a bit of an illness on our team.
“Now that we’ve handled the ball better, those possessions are turning into shot attempts. A couple of our girls - Nicole Nash and Ashlyn Ryall - are starting to find the range a little bit. That’s opened things up underneath for (sophomore post) Ashlyn Mason.”
Sophomore Ryall and junior Nash along with Mason provide Friendswood with a solid core of underclassman leadership.
Friendswood (13-6) has a 4-0 record in District 22-5A to share the top spot with Galveston Ball.
“The other thing during this seven-game winning streak that has helped us is that we’re forcing an average of 22 turnovers per game,” Scott said. “We’ve converted a lot of those into easy baskets.
“When you can do that, it takes a lot of pressure off your half-court offense.
“A lot of girls are contributing, too. I always tell them that you never know when it’s your turn. When one or two different girls step up, as they have, the team buys into that thinking. That raises the confidence level.
“I think that confidence is pretty high now. It was huge for us to go on the road and win a 3-point game at Goose Creek Memorial.”
When Friendswood returns from the holiday break, it will face Galena Park on Jan. 4 before hosting Ball on Jan. 8.
Scott tries to leave no stone uncovered in his game preparation.
“We’ve handled both man and zone defenses better recently,” he said. “We’re moving the ball quicker and getting more open looks.
“We’ve also installed a little bit of a zone press, and it’s worked for us. We’ll continue to use it as long as it’s working.”
The team planned to practice Friday, Saturday and Monday to not only stay sharp, but try to maintain its momentum.
“It’s tough to stop while you’re winning, but I could tell we needed a little time off,” Scott said. “We’re battling some sickness and a couple of injuries so this break comes at a good time.”
Fortunately, Friendswood has quality depth which has paid dividends.
“We’ve rotated about nine or 10 players,” Scott said. “We’re senior-heavy, but have a lot of quality young players, too.
“We’re really starting to rebound a lot better. Ashlyn Mason is averaging about 10 rebounds per game, and Sami Page and Bella McElwain have been great on the boards, too. Sami, especially, has done well on the offensive boards.
“For us, it’s about finding consistency. Inevitably, we get a big contribution from someone off the bench, and that’s been real vital to our success.”