By Johnny Green
In an early District 15-5A showdown Tuesday night at Tiger Center, Royse City showed its pre-season favorite’s role was justified.
The Lady Bulldogs (19-5, 2-0) pulled away from Texas High in the fourth quarter, posting an impressive 75-59 victory over the Lady Tigers.
Leading by 10 to start the fourth period, the Bulldogs outscored Texas High 19-10 in the decisive final eight minutes, nine of that total coming from the foul line, where Royse City dominated the game. In fact, the winners scored more free throws (21 of 36) than Texas High (9-19) shot in the game.
Royse City threatened to blow the game building a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter. But the Tigers scorched the nets with six of their total eight 3-point goals to post its best single-quarter score of the season with 31 points. Kerrighan Dunn and Jacia Collins had three each of the long goals that trimmed RC’s lead to 40-38 at halftime.
But Texas High went cold from the field and the more consistent Bulldogs began to pull away. They led by eight heading into the final period, and Maggie Hutkz took over, scoring 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter, including 7 of 10 from the foul line.
Meanwhile, Dunn, Texas High’s season-leading scorer, managed just a single free throw, finishing with a team-high 19.
Royse City guard burns Lady Tigers
While Hutkz, who had a double-double with 15 rebounds, dominated the second half, it was point-guard McKenna Anderson who kept RC in he game in the first 16 minutes. Anderson, who led all scorers with 21 points, including 13 in the second period.
Royse City shot a scorching 51 percent from the field, while Texas High (11-10, 1-1) managed just 33 percent. The Tigers outrebounded the Bulldogs 43-27 with Keturah Johnson leading the way with 10.
Nichole Weaver gave the Bulldogs a third double-figure scorer with 11 points. Collins, one of two Tigers to foul out in the fourth quarter, finished with 13 points. Ashanti Northcross had 11.
Royse City made it a clean sweep with decisive wins in the sub-varsity games. The Bulldog junior varsity won 43-27 behind Kayla Kimbrough’s 12 points. Braveon Hunt had 12 for Texas High.
Royse City won the ninth grade game, 35-15.
Texas High travels to Mount Pleasant Friday.