POTTSBORO — For the final two-and-a-half quarters against Callisburg, the Lady Cardinals had an easy time on the way to a 64-19 victory in District 9-3A action.
But things will get more difficult when Pottsboro returns to district play next month. After losing Hannah Fellinger, one of their leading scorers, to a torn ACL in a win over Ponder in the 9-3A opener, the Lady Cardinals will have a different look from the team which got off to a strong start during the first six weeks of the season and has dreams of another strong playoff appearance after finishing as the district runner-up and losing to region runner-up Edgewood in the area round last season.
“Our girls will have to step up and they will,” Pottsboro head coach Keith Bates said. “She did a lot of things for us. We still have to do those things. We’ll just have to have different people do those different things now.”
In their first action without Fellinger, the Lady Cardinals got out to a big lead, survived Callisburg’s brief attempt to get back into the game and cruised through the second half.
Tatum Rekieta scored 22 points, Autumn Graley added 13 points, Hadley Williams totaled 11 points and Aly Malone finished with nine points for Pottsboro (15-3, 2-0), which will face Wolfe City at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday to open the Leonard Tournament.
“We’ve got to fall back on what we’ve traditionally done here,” Bates said. “They’re going to battle you tooth-and-nail. They know what’s expected of them. They put those expectations on themselves.”
Bridget Parker scored nine points and Dakota Dungan chipped in six points for Callisburg, which drops to 0-2 in district play.
The Lady Cardinals were up 22-10 in the middle of the second quarter and had scored just two points through the first four minutes of the stanza when Paige Turner hit a shot for Callisburg to make it a 10-point deficit with five minutes remaining in the half.
Malone then led an 8-0 burst that pushed the margin to 30-12 before Parker nailed her third three-pointer of the quarter for the final Callisburg points of the half as Pottsboro went into the locker room with a 37-15 advantage after Rekieta’s three-pointer from the right wing in the closing seconds.
The Lady Cardinals used their defense to blow the game open in the second half. Callisburg did not make a shot from the floor after the break and finished with just six baskets in the game.
Pottsboro opened the third quarter on a 17-0 run. Five different Lady Cards contributed to a stretch which was headed by Williams, who made a three-pointer among her three buckets.
Callisburg avoided a shutout in the quarter on a free throw by Dungan with 1:34 showing and Pottsboro took a 55-16 lead to the fourth. Dungan made three free throws in the quarter for the Lady Wildcats while Malone and Rekieta hit three-pointers out of the three Lady Cardinal shots to finish off the win.
Pottsboro held a 20-4 advantage after the first quarter as Shalynn Blevins and Dungan managed the only buckets for Callisburg.
Rekieta scored seven points in the opening eight minutes while Graley scored nine of her 11 first-half points at the start to help key the Lady Cards to the large lead.
“She can attack the basket really well,” Bates said. “Shes a slasher-type point guard.”