By Richard Greene
From the opening whistle Friday night, the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets and Shae Williams went on the attack.
That aggressive play on both ends of the floor paid off in the second quarter as Boyd went on a 14-0 run on the way to a pivotal 51-33 victory over the rival Paradise Lady Panthers at Paradise High School gym.
Williams led the way for Boyd, pouring in 30 points. She had 14 in the third quarter as the Lady Yellowjackets built a 21-point lead.
Boyd forced nine Paradise turnovers while not allowing a field goal in the decisive second quarter that put the Lady Yellowjackets in front 29-13. Boyd continually attacked the lane offensively in the frame, drawing fouls and getting to the free-throw line 10 times, hitting six.
“The kids really went along with our gameplan and stuck with it, not only in the second quarter but the whole game,” said Boyd coach Lynn Cranfill. “We attacked with a pressure defensively and attacked on offense.”
It was Boyd’s third straight district win to move them to 3-2 in the District 10-2A playoff race. Boyd (15-6) entered the game tied for third in the league with Paradise and Tolar.
“The last three games, we’ve been relaxed and have been getting after people,” Cranfill said. “This got us back in the race. If we lost this, we would’ve been in trouble.”
Paradise fell out of the third-place tie, falling to 2-3 in the league.
The Lady Panthers turned the ball over 23 times, including 15 in the first half.
“It was bad,” said Paradise post Makenna Burt. “We’ve got to get where we can get pass from the wing into the post.”
Burt also said they struggled to adjust to Boyd’s pressure.
Paradise had trouble shooting on the perimeter. The Lady Panthers missed all seven of their attempts on three-pointers in the second quarter, finishing 3-for-12 for the game.
The Lady Panthers, including Burt couldn’t stay out of foul trouble. Burt picked two fouls in the first quarter. Kaylee McConnell was whistled for three fouls in the first half.
Once the whistles started, Williams and her Boyd teammates began attacking. Williams went to the line 14 times, hitting eight.
“I kept driving and they kept fouling,” Williams said. “I was trying to get Makenna out. She was killing us inside.”
Burt had eight of her 20 points in the first quarter — all on offensive putbacks. Burt had seven offensive rebounds and finished with 10 total boards.
But Burt’s double-double did not match Williams’ night. After scoring 21 in the first half, she exploded in the fourth quarter. She drained three three-pointers in the frame, including one from five feet behind the three-point arc to put Boyd up 40-19.
“The girl was off me and I sunk it,” said Williams about the long-range shot. “You can’t underestimate people.”
Williams hit her final three-pointer with 1:44 left in third quarter. She made it to the 30-point mark with two free throws with 1:34 remaining in the game.
“Shae was spectacular,” Cranfill said. “Her teammates were doing a good job getting her the ball. It was a good night for us.”