Dalrayn Feringa scores 27 points for the Wildcats in a lopsided matchup Monday
After winning the Mansfield Lady Lions Invitational Tourney last week, including a 69-64 championship victory over No. 4-ranked Class 2 Norwood, the Licking Lady Wildcats (15-5) are firing on all cylinders.
The Crocker Lady Lions were the latest victim of the rolling train Licking has become on Monday in a 71-40 throttling.
Crocker coach Mike Austin said he was proud of the way his girls came out, keeping the score close until the final minutes of the first quarter, but thought they let the game get too big for them when they began to make mistakes.
“I thought we came out in the beginning and did a pretty good job,” Austin said. “Then we started turning the ball over and it kind of got in our heads. Once it got in our heads, we just weren't the same team.”
The Lions fell behind 16-8 in the first quarter but the second quarter erased all hope.
Six second-quarter Crocker turnovers and a 15-2 run to begin the frame eventually led to a 38-14 Wildcats' halftime lead.
“We just turn the ball over too much,” Austin said. “That's been our biggest downfall all year.”
Crocker had its first double-digit scoring quarter in the third, scoring 15 points behind five-point performances by seniors Sadie Bomar and Zoe Wilson.
“They came out and competed better,” Austin said of his team. “They kept playing.”
However, the Lions didn't make any headroom and actually fell further behind as the Wildcats held a 56-29 advantage going into the final quarter.
Licking junior Dalrayn Feringa dropped in 27 points Monday to lead all scorers. Karlee Holland was second overall with 12. Other Wildcats to score: Ashley Ingram (10), Athena Hood (9), McKenzie Cook (6), Lexi Hadix (6) and Katie Kinder (1).
Bomar led the Lions with 11 points. Other Lions to score: Wilson (8), Macey Connell (7), Morgan Wall (5), Mariah Dean (5) and Lindsey Parrish (4).
Austin said he and the girls knew coming into the year after graduating the top three scorers from a season ago was going to be rough.
Goal No. 1 before the season was to get the underclassmen experience and undergo a sort of rebuild. That remains the M.O. and Austin believes it is being accomplished.
“I think our freshmen are really starting to understand the game a little bit more with the more playing time they're getting,” Austin said. “They still make freshmen mistakes at times but they also come in and give us a spark defensively because they're a little quicker, a little faster and we can do a few things with them that we can't do with the other group.”