Posted on 25 February 2015.
The run-and-gun style of the Alvord Lady Bulldogs proved to be overwhelming for the Tolar Lady Rattlers Friday night.
Alvord won the final three quarters of its 70-56 Class 2A Region II area victory over Tolar to keep its playoff dreams alive.
LEADING THE CHARGE – Alvord’s Cierra Rangel tosses in two of her 28 points during the Lady Bulldogs’ win over Tolar Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt
In Alvord coach John Shelton’s system, the Lady Bulldogs are constantly running, shooting, trapping and substituting. The pace is meant to do a lot of things, including exposing teams that are limited depth-wise and forcing teams to play out of rhythm and rushing shots and passes.
“I am so happy for the kids, because we started off in this system that is totally different from anything they’ve done in the past four or five years,” Shelton said. “They were hesitant at first, but I think we showed tonight what it’s all about. That’s why Tolar got into foul trouble, because when you get tired you start to foul.
“That’s part of the whole system we run. You get tired and you don’t move your feet on defense. That was really the difference tonight in that they got tired and we didn’t.”
The Lady Rattlers held on as long as they could, but eventually their 21 turnovers caught up to them.
The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over only 15 times while shooting 62 percent from inside the 3-point line.
From beyond the 3-point line, Alvord shot a respectable 31 percent and made just over half of their free throws.
Cierra Rangel found a mismatch early that the Lady Bulldogs exploited all night.
Rangel gashed and fought her way to the basket, earning 15 free-throw attempts.
She ended up scoring 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points.
“I felt good,” Rangel said. “I knew we could get some things going in the inside. Once I got my groove going, I felt like I could get some good shots up.”
Katie Claborn made two of her nine 3-point attempts and finished the game with 14 points.
Despite foul trouble for virtually the entire game, Brianna Ponder managed to score 11 points while shooting 62 percent from the field.
Bailey Hamilton made both of her 3-pointers to help her get to nine points for the game.
Meanwhile, the Alvord defense gave the Lady Rattlers fits.
Tolar shot 7 percent from beyond the arc, making only one of its 13 attempts.
After tying in the first quarter, the Lady Bulldogs pulled away in the second scoring 17 points while holding Tolar to nine.
Both teams ramped up the scoring in the third quarter, with Alvord taking the slight 21-16 advantage.
With a 13-point lead heading into the final period, Ponder and Hamilton each scored four in the final frame to help the Lady Bulldogs outscore Tolar 14-13 to end the game.
“We work hard. It’s all worth it in the end,” Rangel said. “You’re so tired when you play in it, but it’s very rewarding after the game. You worked your tail off and you feel like you really earned it when you win.
“We came in here and really wanted it bad but we knew we would have to earn it, and it wasn’t going to be given to us. Every girl on our team earned tonight and we worked hard for it.”
ALVORD 70, TOLAR 56
Alvord … 18 … 17 … 21 … 14 … – … 70
Tolar … 18 … 9 … 16 … 13 … – … 56
Alvord: Cierra Rangel 28, Katie Claborn 14, Brianna Ponder 11, Bailey Hamilton 10, Mikena Mader 3, Reagan Guthrie 2, Katelyn Schedcik 2
Tolar: Hannah Peregrino 20, Marlee Thomas 8, Shelby Nunley 7, Meredith Caudle 6, Michaela Phillips 6, Laura Anderson 5, Elizabeth Bonnell 4