SAND ROCK – Sand Rock senior point guard Caley Garrett knows a hot hand when she sees one, and she wasn’t going to stop sophomore guard Katelyn StClair from firing away from behind the arc.
StClair sank seven treys and finished with 23 points in leading the Lady Wildcats to a 75-54 home basketball victory over Fyffe on Tuesday.
StClair also grabbed seven rebounds and had a pair of steals for the Lady Wildcats (5-0).
“Every time down the floor, I was like ‘Shoot it,’” Garrett said of StClair. “I was like ‘You just keep shooting them threes.’ She was on fire.”
“They knew I was hitting,” StClair said. “When they drive and kick back out, that helps a lot to create the open shots. We practice that every day. Mrs. (Lisa) Bates always tells us to look for whoever’s hitting.”
“She has that potential. She does it in practice all the time,” Bates said. “She works at it. It’s nice for it to pay off. She was feeling it. That’s good we have options where somebody can’t just focus on one (player). I was glad to see her do really well tonight.”
Speaking of options, it could’ve been easy for Garrett to take the glory for herself on Tuesday night. She was 13 points away from 1,000 for her career, which suffered a setback last season when she suffered a season-ending knee injury.
Garrett’s 13th point came on a basket with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter. She finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it without my teammates,” Garrett said. “It was very emotional, my first game back here since I got hurt.
“Honestly, I completely forgot I was that close (when it happened). When McKenna (Ballenger) checked in and she told me, I was like ‘Oh yeah.’ Then Mrs. Bates hugged me and the tears came.”
The Lady Wildcats presented Garrett with a sign commemorating the moment following the game.
“Me and Caley are really close. I know the hard work she puts in to this,” StClair said. “It really killed us and her for missing last year. This year is going to be something special because we have her back. She hustles her tail off and that helps us a lot.”
“We’re proud for her,” Bates added. “She really should’ve gotten it last year. She was close, but then she had the injury. That was a goal of hers, to get in the 1,000 point club. She was emotional about it.”
Sand Rock senior shooting guard Lanie Henderson, who signed a scholarship with Faulkner University earlier on Tuesday, posted 17 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Haley Grace Lisenbee contributed six points, five boards, three steals and two assists.
The Lady Wildcats held a 21-18 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Their lead swelled to 38-28 at halftime and to 59-42 after three quarters.
“We did a pretty good job with our half-court defense,” Bates said. “I was trying to throw in several people to make us a little deeper, trying to get some more experience. They didn’t shoot the ball well, thank goodness, but we did a good job rebounding I thought. We had some good, aggressive rebounding, and I thought that helped. We didn’t give them second and third shots a whole lot. I thought we did a good job of doing that.”
Emma Twilley led the Lady Red Devils with 22 points.
Sand Rock 72, Fyffe 51
SAND ROCK – After losing the production they did last basketball season, one might think the Sand Rock Wildcats would have a drop off in offense this season.
But they’d be dead wrong.
Eight different Wildcat players scored Tuesday night against Fyffe, led by Kaden Justice’s 28 points. He also grabbed 11 rebounds in Sand Rock’s 72-51 victory.
Jacob StClair, who battled the flu over the past few days, netted 19 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Ben Dale delivered nine points, six boards and four assists. Logan Crider came away with six points for the Wildcats (4-2).
“We feel like people thought we were going to be a one or two-man team coming into this season. That’s fine if they think that, but right now I think we’re playing good team basketball,” Sand Rock coach John Blackwell said. “We’re having a lot of players step up and doing some good things.”
“Logan Crider played well in the post. Ben Dale had a heck of a game. Brian Giles come in and hit a three off the bench out of the corner to start the game. We’re still trying to get (football) out of us, but the guys work hard. They have fun. This bunch has fun playing.”
Fyffe held a 14-10 advantage early, but Sand Rock went on an 18-6 run in the second quarter to take a 28-20 lead into halftime. The Wildcats built a 46-32 edge after three quarters and outscored the Red Devils 26-19 in the fourth for the final.
Aiding the Wildcats was their free-throw shooting. They were 20-for-28 in the game. Justice was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Eli Butts led Fyffe with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Lucas Jones and Tyler Stephens both finished with nine points.
“Defensively I think we’re getting better,” Blackwell said. “We’ve had not had problems scoring points this year. I think we’re averaging in the mid-70s on points. Unfortunately we’re averaging giving up over 60. We’ve got to play better defense. I thought as the game went along, our defense got better. I think we’re doing some things better.”
Both Sand Rock teams play in a tournament in Biloxi, Miss., beginning on Thursday.