Monday night's contest had all the ingredients to become a heated contest in Crocker.
The Lady Lions entered the battle riding a 12-game win streak, and have an overall record of 22-2. Laquey started the season slowly, but has picked up pace as of late with key wins in last week's Newburg Tournament. Add in the Frisco League impact and the match-up was nothing short of physical.
Unfortunately for the Lady Hornets, the game's brutal nature worked in favor of Crocker.
Upon winning the opening tip, the Lady Lions swooshed three three-pointers on offense and forced two Laquey turnovers – including a 10-second violation – to set the game's tone.
"Lots of pressure was the biggest key," Crocker head coach Nancy Ward said. "The kids were really focused on the defensive end."
Laquey never quite adjusted in the first quarter and was held scoreless until the 4:00 mark, and to just two points in the first quarter while being outscored 16-2 by Crocker.
Lady Hornets coach Wesley Shaw simply said his team "played scared."
"We're a much better team than what we showed tonight," Shaw said.
Crocker's sustained full-court press took its toll on the opponent until the Lady Hornets finally found an offensive presence in Junior Danielle Graves, who netted 10 points in the second quarter, all in the paint.
"We wanted to get the ball into the paint," Shaw said. "Graves did a good job tonight, but we just didn't do our job to get her the ball."
However, Crocker's offense continued to find easy shots with its dribble-drive offense and made several open looks, including five first half treys.
At the halfway point, Crocker held a big 28-14 advantage.
Then, in the third period, Crocker's defense appeared as strong as ever, holding Laquey to just two points once again.
Shaw said Crocker used its pressure to near perfection Monday.
"We had a lot of turnovers that were our fault," Shaw said. "We'd dribble it off our foot or make a bad pass with nobody standing there, part of that is from [Crocker] putting pressure on us and us playing scared."
A contributing factor to Laquey's subpar performance was the absence of junior guard Maura Skidmore, who was forced to sit on the bench with four fouls within the first minute of the third quarter, which ended 50-16.
The fourth quarter running clock bled valuable seconds off the clock and allowed Crocker to escape the physical match-up with an overpowering 57-20 victory that included 10 made three-point shots.
Graves was the only Laquey player with double-digit figures with 12 points and 8 rebounds. For Crocker, Lindsey Medlen (12 points) and Briana Peterson (11 points) led the way in scoring.
Page 2 of 2 - Ward was quick to admit that her team "got lucky" since Laquey is "a good team with great scorers."
"You're not going to do that every night," Ward said of the game's lopsided score.
Crocker is set to play at Richland on Thursday night at 6 p.m. before playing No. 8-seeded Newburg in the first round of the district tournament.
For Laquey, Shaw said redemption is in his team's sights.
The Lady Hornets' senior night and pink out night will take place Thursday at home against Plato before the team is scheduled to play seventh-seed Richland in Saturday's first round of districts.
When asked about the prospect of playing Crocker again in the district championship round, Shaw said, "That would be great if we could see them again."