FARMINGTON — The Aztec girls basketball team started the season as well as it could have hoped for, rolling to a 31-point win over Capital tonight at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 16-6 lead in the first 5:13 of action and never looked back on the way to a 55-24 victory.
“I liked our confidence,” Aztec coach Robert McCaskill said. “The girls had a lot of confidence. They didn’t let the first-game jitters sway their confidence. They stayed focused and even keeled.”
During the hot start in the first quarter, 6-foot-2 sophomore Reigan Weaver showed her range, connecting on a pair of 3-pointers.
McCaskill said the strong start to the game was simply the result of the Lady Tigers running the offense to get open shots, which they knocked down.
Aztec’s scoring slowed down slightly in the second quarter, but the Lady Tigers (1-0) didn’t lose any ground to Capital (0-2), thanks to a dominant defense, and took a 28-13 lead into halftime.
“We pressed a lot,” McCaskill said of the defense. “Grace Olson did a great job playing defense. We did a good job of giving them some different looks and turned them over a couple of times.”
The Lady Tigers continued to assert their dominance in the third quarter, outscoring Capital 14-5 to build a 24-point lead heading into the fourth.
The Lady Tigers had a balanced offense, with nearly everyone who played getting a bucket.
Myra McCaskill led Aztec with 16 points.
Weaver locked down the paint with six blocked shots, and Kamrynn Phelps grabbed eight rebounds.
Aztec will have a couple of days off to get ready for the Al Armendariz tournament later this week in Santa Fe.
Coach McCaskill said one point of focus for the Lady Tigers leading up to the tournament will be better shot selection.
The Lady Tigers will open their tournament play on Thursday, facing Santa Fe High (0-2).
“They’re bringing back almost everyone they had last year, and they have a new coach (Lanse Carter), who coached at Pojoaque Valley and has two state titles,” McCaskill said of the Lady Demons. “They have a good team and a really great backcourt.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.