George Ranch girls’ basketball coach Shalesha Pierce had a look of frustration all evening long on Tuesday.
The frustrations stemmed from Tuesday’s game when George Ranch had as much as a seven-point lead on the No. 18 team in 6A. But Dulles got hot in the second half and capitalized on 31 turnovers by the Longhorns for a 39-30 win at Longhorn Gym.
The Lady Vikings pressed and trapped the Longhorns all game long, forcing several bad passes, steals and backcourt violations that prevented George Ranch from settling into its offense.
“We did a good job making (Dulles) play at our pace, but we can’t turn it over 31 times,” Pierce said. “And many of those turnovers weren’t necessarily forced.
“We’ve had nine preseason games, and some of our players are not all here on campus, so it’s tough to catch a rhythm. Our four losses has been to top-ranked teams, and we lost to the No. 18 team in the state, which, with all due respect, could have beaten if we had executed our plan.”
Dulles failed to capitalize on the turnovers by missing several shots, especially from the three-point line.
Dulles took an early 7-2 lead before George Ranch broke the Lady Vikings’ trap defense and went on an 11-0 run to take a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to a couple of close-range shots by forward Gabrielle Owens and forward Jasmine Howard.
George Ranch took an 17-10 lead in the second quarter, but Dulles (11-0, 2-0) got a three-pointer by guard Nya Threatt and three layups by guard Jakiya Johnson to pull within a point at the half.
Both teams played tough defense in the third quarter, holding each other to only six points in the quarter. Longhorn guard Savannah Velazquez scored four of her six points in the third, while Dulles had only two three-pointers, one each from Threatt and guard Dai Dai Powell.
George Ranch scored early in the fourth quarter on a putback by Owens to take a three-point lead. After that, Dulles went on a 13-1 run as the Lady Vikings’ began to press and trap to force more turnovers and get easy shots. Threatt hit another three-pointer, and then drove to score two driving layups to put the Lady Vikings up by 10.
Threatt had a game-high 14 points for Dulles, with forward Peyton Overton adding eight points, including going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Owens led the Longhorns with 12 points, with Velazquez adding six.
George Ranch falls to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in District 20-6A play. The Longhorns will host Elkins on Friday at 7 p.m.