Lady Pios cruise past Jennings in tourney opener

MIDLAND – Any hopes Jennings’ Lady Bulldogs may have had of pulling off an upset in the opening round of the Midland Holiday Spectacular opener Monday were put to rest early by Notre Dame’s Lady Pios.

The Lady Pios (12-2) used a staggering defense and drained five 3-pointers in the first half to set the tempo of what turned out to be a dominating 58-12 victory by Notre Dame.

“If they had any thoughts of beating us, that was kind of out the door in the first quarter,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theroit, whose squad jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first frame.

“We hit five 3-pointers in the first half. I’m not sure exactly what our percentage was on that, but it was high enough for me say ‘keep shooting it’.

“We got after them pretty good and you couldn’t ask for a better start.”

The Lady Pios’ defense gave Jennings problems from the opening tip as the Lady Dogs struggled to get the ball past half court. That pressure resulted in a number of baskets in transition to go along with three 3- pointers from Gabbie Romero, Sam Lyons and Hanna Esthay.

“I was extremely happy with what we did, defensively, in the first quarter,” said Theriot. “When we’re pressing and getting back on defense...I thought we did a real good job.”

Jennings finally got on the board with 7:32 left in the second quarter when Courtney Broussard scored on a layup.

Notre Dame answered with a basket from Madelyn LeJeune and the Lady Pios went on a 13-4 run to end the half with a 34-6 advantage.

“In the first quarter and a half, I thought we did an excellent job of playing defense,” said Theriot. “We only scored 13 points in the second quarter, but that was mainly because of us pulling back a little and just not getting into what we normally do.”

The Lady Pios kept the pressure to a minimum the rest of the way, but they still managed to outscore the Lady Dogs 24-6 in the second half.

“It was nice to be able to get everyone in the game today,” said Theriot. “(In) a game like this, you get to get kids in there that have been working really hard at practice and they have an opportunity to get in and show what they can do. It was a good game all the way around.”

However, Theriot was quick to point out the negatives that he saw in the contest. The most glaring being their drop off in scoring following the first quarter barrage.

“It is just hard to keep the tempo up after you jump out to a big lead like that, but you have to find a way,” said Theriot. “Everybody has to come in and we have to execute. But it was a great game for us to get some kinks out after a few days without practice.”

Lyons paced the Lady Pios with 12 points and Alex Miller had nine.

LeJeune and Elise LeBeouf followed with eight points, Romero added seven, and Esthay and Annie Sarver each had five points. Katherine Kirsch and Tori Onebane rounded out the Lady Pios’ offense with two points each.

Racquera Bradley led the Lady Dogs with four points while Sydni Duplichan, Jakerilyn Johnson and Caitlyn Prejean each had two.

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