Girls’ basketball: Friendswood turns back Clear Brook, 39-34
When the shots weren’t falling at an acceptable clip, the Friendswood girls’ basketball team had to find another route to victory Tuesday night.
Perseverance proved to be the cure for what ailed head coach Daron Scott’s team.
Leading by just a single point entering the final period, Friendswood opened a seven-point advantage and held off determined Clear Brook for a 39-34 victory at the Lady Mustang gym.
“We’re moving people around, trying them at different positions, so it’s taken some work to get everybody used to where they’re playing,” Scott said. “I was proud of the girls tonight.
“They lost the lead, but they hustled and were diving on the floor. Nicole Nash was great playing the point, and Ashlyn Mason was awesome inside. She finished well. She’s a great offensive rebounder.”
Friendswood held just a 30-29 lead after three quarters, but Nash buried a 3-pointer for the first points of the final period at the six-minute mark.
Junior Bella McElwain then scored with 3:45 left for a 35-29 Friendswood edge.
Clear Brook didn’t collect its first points of the quarter until Madison Caffey turned in a 3-point play at the three-minute mark to make it 35-32 to keep the Lady Wolverines well within striking distance.
However, Friendswood went on a 4-0 run to ice the game.
Nash made a free throw with 2:05 left for a 36-32 score before senior Kinsey Cole buried a short jumper for a 38-32 lead with 1:17 left. With 30 seconds remaining, Cole sank one of two attempts at the line for a 39-32 lead.
Friendswood had two other opportunities to seal the deal at the free throw line, but twice missed one-and-one opportunities.
The Lady Mustangs’ defense, though, was strong enough to offset Friendswood’s 10-of-26 performance from the free throw line.
Brook’s Hailey Henry scored on a layup at the buzzer for the Lady Wolverines’ final points.
“I don’t know what it was --- we just couldn’t score when we needed it,” first-year Clear Brook head coach Brandon Hudson said. “We weren’t executing on offense. We just weren’t running through it like we’re supposed to.
“We’re still growing. I’ve been through this before. It’s a change of mindset and rebuilding a program. Once we start putting everything together, I think we’ll scare some people.”
Friendswood led 9-8 after one quarter, but Brook stormed back in the second quarter for a 19-12 lead on a 3-pointer from Henry. Nash scored six points late in the period to pull Friendswood within 21-20 at halftime.
Once Nash scored the opening basket of the second half, Friendswood never trailed.
“We steadily got back in it by chipping away,” Scott said. “At times we handled the pressure well, at times we didn’t.
“We just need to jell more. We’ll get there.”