Princeton didn’t waste time.
The visiting Tigerettes used their pressure defense to put 20 quick points on Shady Spring Thursday en route to a 74-30 win.
“Any time you come out and play hard, good things are going to happen,” Princeton coach Debbie Ball said. “When you use a pressure defense, it changes the other team’s offense.”
Princeton took the pressure off later in the half, but continued to dominate the young Lady Tigers. It was 42-9 at the break.
The Tigerettes didn’t shoot all that great — 29 of 81, or 36 percent — but they more than made up for it with 30 steals.
“Their pressure really got to us in the first quarter, and we turned the ball over a lot,” Shady coach Brandon Bennett said. “They got a lot of transition lay-ups.”
All-stater and Marshall signee McKenzie Akers led the way with 34 points, including three 3-point goals. She also had seven steals and four assists.
Guard Marissa Mullins added 18 points and eight steals, while Khadija Payne had seven. Hannah Preservati only scored six points, but had a solid floor game with four steals, four assists and seven rebounds.
Bennett said, “Those are some outstanding guards. They’re good defensively and they can shoot and drive.
“I’m not sure you’re going to find a better point guard than Akers.”
Once Princeton turned off its press, Shady played much better. Center Kaylee Dickenson scored 13 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Guard Morgan Hylton hit three 3s and finished with 12 points.
“Kaylee once again played a strong game,” Bennett said. “She crashed the boards and played strong in the paint.
“Morgan can shoot, and she definitely came alive in the second half. Princeton did a good job of pressuring her and she had maybe one shot in the first half.”
The Tigers fell to 1-3 with the loss. They host Summers County Monday.
“We’re seeing progress, but we have to get better on turnovers,” Bennett said.
Princeton will host Winfield Monday. The Tigers, with no tall post in the lineup, will once again be one of the smaller AAA teams in the state.
“We’ve battled with size for a long time,” Ball said. “That’s why we try to quicken up our offense.”
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Princeton 74, Shady Spring 30
Jessica Inman 1 2-6 5, McKenzie Akers 12 5-6 34, Maranda Wimmer 1 0-0 2, Ashley Culicerto 1 0-0 2, Marissa Mullins 7 3-4 18, Khadija Payne 3 0-2 6, Hannah Preservati 3 0-0 6, Rachel Surface 0 1-2 1. Totals: 28 11-22 74.
Shady Spring (1-3)
Morgan Hylton 4 1-4 12, Brooklyn Meador 0 0-0 0, Kelsey Collins 0 0-0 0, Morgan Brown 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Dickenson 5 3-5 13, McKenzie Severt 2 1-3 5. Totals: 11 5-12 30.
P 25 17 17 15 — 74
SS 2 7 17 5 — 30
3-point goals — P: 5 (Inman, Akers 3, Mullins); SS: 3 (Hylton 3). Fouled out — none.
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