The Sulphur Lady Tors fell behind early but turned it around in the second half to beat defending Class 1A state champion Elton 50-40 to open the 2019-2020 season.
“We knew that Elton was a good team,” Sulphur head coach Helen Lefevre said. “That Woods kid is a player.
“Their other post player can score inside and No. 10 can shoot the three. They had a good game plan and good players. It took everything we had.”
Sulphur took an early 2-0 lead on a bucket by junior guard Gabby Gunter but committed five turnovers in the first quarter.
“I felt like our offense was not up to par, but that will come with a little bit more (games),” Lefevre said. “When you make passes against the JV in practice, that pass looks good. But when you do it against a varsity player, you struggle.
“We have to get used to the speed of the game. We have a lot of things we need to work on. We are glad to get the W.”
Elton used one of those turnovers to take its first lead. Mariah Lemoine got a steal, and senior Tessa Deshotel scored the first of her three first-quarter three-pointers for a 5-4 lead. Deshotel drilled back-to-back threes to put the Lady Indians up 11-9 with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
Elton’s Vici Woods, a 6-0 junior center, got a quick bucket in the lane to open the second quarter and give the Lady Indians their largest lead of the game, 13-9.
Sulphur went on a 7-0 run to take a 16-13 lead but clung to a 23-17 lead at halftime after a turnaround jumper by Abby Wyatt in the lane with a second left.
Deshotel cut Sulphur’s lead to 31-24 with 3:08 left in the third quarter, but the Lady Tors went on a 19-7 run over the next 8 minutes and 33 seconds to take a commanding 50-33 lead.
Senior guard Addie Tremie scored 10 of her 20 points during that span, including a pair of three-pointers and junior Abi Massey added five points as Sulphur was able to finally contain Woods and Summer Ceasar.
“When Tremie hit that three, that was big for us,” Lefevre said. “We struggled to keep (Woods) off the boards most of the game, but for that little stretch we were able to keep her out of it for a little while, so that helped us.”
Elton won the battle in the lane as Woods, last seasons Class 1A state tournament MVP, and Ceasar outscored Sulphur’s trio of senior Raegan Ojoro and juniors Mo Patterson and Abi Massey 26-16. Woods finished with a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Ceasar added seven points. Massey and Patterson had six points each and Ojoro scored four. Patterson also had seven rebounds and four assists.
“My inside people didn’t have a great game tonight, but they have been looking really good in practice,” Lefevre said. “I still think they are going to be a dominant inside team.
“We have the guards and post. We have the inside-outside game that we haven’t had in a while. I just think the first game we were a little nervous and didn’t show our best stuff tonight. Now we have to get batter.”