NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- Although it's still early in the girls high school basketball season, Richland cemented its position as the team to beat in District 4-5A Tuesday night.
Destiny Nunley scored 23 points and had a dominating performance in the low post as the Rebels knocked off Southlake Carroll 49-46 at Richland High School.
Nunley is starting to get into midseason form as the holiday tournament season approaches.
"It was probably my best game of the year, but I need to work more at being aggressive and going to the basket," she said. "Carroll always has a great team, so it was good for us to get this one now. I think we'll only get better as the season wears on."
Carroll put together a couple of rallies Tuesday and tied the game early in the fourth quarter.
Richland coach Kate Goldberg said that should be a wake-up call to her team about playing complete games.
"We've got a long way to go; we're still trying push them every day," Goldberg said. "We just want them to play fundamental basketball, and part of that is playing consistently every quarter."
Richland (13-4, 3-0 in 4-5A) extended its lead to as much as nine midway through the third quarter before Southlake (9-9, 2-1) staged a rally.
The Dragons' Gretchen Morrison dropped her fourth 3-pointer of the game to start an 11-6 rally, and Kennedy Leonard made her second layup during that stretch to tie the game at 37-37 in the fourth quarter.
But Nunley converted five free throws and a layup down the stretch to seal the game for Richland.
Sydney Brock scored 17 to back up Nunley and also had a layup and two free throws in the closing minutes.
Morrison had 16 points to lead Carroll, and guard Kami Mickens had 13.
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