For the Howe Lady Bulldogs, Sherman’s decision to go with just a boys and girls division for the 11th Annual Sherman Holiday Tournament made the competition tough.
Howe, the only Class 2A school in the event, was unable to come up with a win on the first day of the tournament as it lost to the host Sherman Lady Bearcats and McKinney Boyd on Dec. 26.
McKinney Boyd was coming off of a 30-point win over North Lamar in the nightcap on Thursday when it took on the Lady Bulldogs. The stifling Lady Broncos defense limited Howe to just one field goal in the first quarter as they were pressing from the jump.
Free throws by Riley Harvey and Holly Hawkins provided the early offense for the Lady Bulldogs, while a jumper from the free-throw line by Alissa Smith stopped a Boyd run. Harvey’s second free throw of the quarter cut the lead to four points at the end of the period.
Harvey was 2-for-2 from the charity stripe to start off Howe’s second period scoring, and the sophomore forward finished with 12 points for the contest. A free throw make by Kendall Nelms kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game, and Harvey’s drive down the baseline for a basket made it a 23-11 game at the break.
Howe came out for the second half with its best offensive performance of the night, outscoring Boyd 11-7 in the third period. Hawkins started the scoring, getting around her defender in the paint and dropping in a short jumper.
Darci Foster sent in a 3-ball from the top of the arc, the first of two she would make from beyond the line. A bucket by Aurian James got the Boyd lead down to single digits. Smith scored from just inside the 3-point line and Harvey banked in a shot to cut the Lady Bronco lead to eight at the end of the third quarter.
Boyd got off to a hot start in the final frame, getting the lead back to 12 before Howe could regain its offensive spark.
A basket by Foster, then two by Harvey kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game, but they were only trading baskets with the Lady Broncos. Another Boyd run pushed the lead to 20 before Foster connected with her second 3-pointer of the game.
Two makes from the free-throw line by Emily Sanders closed out the Howe scoring for the night.
Howe 6 5 11 11 — 33
Boyd 10 13 7 18 — 48
Howe: Riley Harvey 12, Darci Foster 8, Holly Hawkins 4, Alissa Smith 4, Aurian James 3, Emily Sanders 2, Kendall Nelms 1.
On Nov. 25, the Sherman Lady Bearcats beat Howe 73-51 at the Sherman gym. In last week’s issue of the Leader we cleverly pointed out that the rematch in the opening game of the Sherman Holiday Tournament would be a test of Howe’s progress over the past month.
The Lady Bulldogs passed the test even though they lost the game, 63-52.
As court announcer Blake Utter, a Sherman fan, told us, “It was closer than it should have been.”
Now, I’m not suggesting that you buy your next Kia elsewhere as Blake is entitled to root for his school, but seriously, with no 3s from the Lady Bulldogs, Sherman was lucky to get the “W.”
Riley Harvey led the game with 25 points and Darci Foster added 10 in the Lady Bulldog loss.
Eight points scored by Jayzhia Softly for Sherman in the fourth quarter was pretty much the story of this one.
After five days to recover and fine-tune some things, Howe returns to District 11-2A action at home on Friday hosting Whitesboro.
Howe 11 13 13 15 — 52
Sherman 12 10 21 20 — 63
Howe:Riley Harvey 25, Darci Foster 10, Alissa Smith 5, Emily Sanders 4, Holly Hawkins 4, Aurian James 2, Kendall Nelms 2.