Hurst L.D. Bell held Richland to just one field goal in a span of 11 minutes in the first half Saturday to win the Boswell Holiday Classic championship 61-23 at Saginaw Boswell High School.
After Richland went on an early 11-3 run in the first quarter, Bell (16-1) countered with a 25-2 run to close the first half and take a 31-13 lead into the break.
Richland’s Deanna Williams put back a missed shot inside with 3:11 left in the first quarter to give the Rebels (10-8) an 11-6 lead, but the Raiders put the clamps on defensively after that, and Richland would only score one more basket before halftime. Meanwhile, Bell guard Cierra Johnson picked her team up on the offensive end in the second quarter. The senior scored eight of her game-high 19 points as the Raiders poured it on before halftime.
“We just started playing better defense, simple as that,” Bell coach Brock Pembleton said. “We turned up the pressure and made it tougher on [Richland] in the second and third quarters.”
Senior guard Leah Taylor chipped in with 10 points for Bell.
Senior guard Maddi Holcomb led Richland with 10 points.
The Raiders scored the first 10 points to open the second half as well. Holcomb’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:20 left in the third stopped what had ballooned into a 35-2 run, but the damage had already been done.
“We’ve got a really good group of seniors who have had a lot of success at this tournament in the last four years,” Pembleton said of Bell’s three wins at the Boswell Holiday Classic since 2010. “And our role players have really played well, too. I could go down the list with this bunch.”
• Trophy Club Nelson 49, Frisco 39: The Bobcats took the consolation championship.
Nelson (16-4) fell to an early 8-2 deficit in the first quarter but made some defensive adjustments to take control in the second quarter.
“They were driving to the right side on us,” Nelson coach Darren Wilson said. “So we wanted to force them to go left, and eventually our defense wore them down a little bit.”
Nelson took a 21-18 lead into halftime and built on the slim lead in the second half. Guard Shaila Wolter led the Bobcats with 14 points on four 3-pointers, while Tralyn Woodard added 13.
Mikailla Roundtree of Frisco (3-16) led all scorers with 16 points.
The Bobcats’ only loss of the tournament was to eventual champion Bell 52-47 in the opening round.
“Looking back, that first-round game would have made a good final matchup,” Wilson said. “But this was a really positive outcome for us and it puts us in a good place heading into the rest of our tough District [5-4A] schedule.”
• Abilene 60, Keller Fossil Ridge 49: Abilene (16-5) outscored Keller Fossil Ridge 26-9 in a span that included most of the second and third quarters to win the third-place game.
Both teams were hot from the perimeter early on. The Eagles connected on nine 3-pointers in the win, and Ridge hit eight.
The Panthers (7-13) went up 16-10 with 1:40 left in the first quarter on Maurisha Peyton’s long ball and took a 16-12 lead after the first quarter. But Abilene turned up the defensive pressure int he second quarter and had a 24-21 lead at halftime.
What had started as a 12-3 second-quarter run continued in the third, as the Eagles broke the game open and took a 40-28 lead after the third.
Abilene guard Samantha Rodriguez led all scorers with 15 points on four 3-pointers, while Madison Crawford led Ridge with 13.
• Justin Northwest 34, Saginaw Boswell 23: The Texans earned a fifth-place finish. Alexus Brigham led all scorers with 16 points for Northwest (10-9). Boswell’s Taneasha Rhode led the Pioneers (14-7) with 12.
• Abilene Cooper 47, FW Western Hills 35: A stingy second-half defense pushed Cooper (6-15) to victory. Cooper allowed just 12 second-half points after trailing 23-17 at halftime. Kami Jackson led Cooper with 10 points, while Sydney Rose and Ijaia Thomas paced Western Hills (7-7) with seven apiece.