Buckeye High’s girls were in the championship game of their own holiday basketball tournament (Blue & Gold), and they wanted to make sure they would be able to put their fingerprints on the title trophy.
Coach Regina Early wanted her players to set the tone early against Tempe McClintock, and the Lady Hawks did exactly that.
Buckeye raced to a 22-0 lead and was not challenged, earning a 51-24 victory on Monday (Dec. 30). The games were split into 20-minute halves, with a running clock.
“We’re doing such a good job playing together, playing for each other,’’ Early said.
She pointed to her post player, 6-foot-3 Alliesandra Fuller, as the prime example.
Fuller dived on the floor to gain control of the ball before her opponents could get there. She got bumped around, but set up a basket.
Another big aspect for Buckeye is defense.
“It’s about being disciplined, not reaching and moving our feet,’’ Early said.
Fuller led the way with 15 points, and two teammates also scored in double figures – Bailey Wirtzberger and Dallas Jones, both with 10 points. Wirtzberger’s total included a pair of 3-pointers.
McClintock just couldn’t keep up with Buckeye’s quick pace at both ends of the floor.
Tatiana Bernard was the Chargers’ top scorer with seven points and three other players had four each.