The Princeton Tigerettes got off to a great start by trouncing their first two opponents. They opened the season Dec. 6 at Shady Spring and walloped their hosts,
74-30. On Dec. 10 at Princeton, the Tigerettes dismantled Winfield, 63-34, in impressive fashion.
The Tigerettes followed a similar formula in recording the victories — getting off to a fast start. In essence, both games were over after the first period. In the Shady Spring contest, Princeton forced 16 first-quarter turnovers (primarily steals) and converted many of them into points. Consequently, they jumped out to a 22-0 lead and a 25-2 advantage at the conclusion of the first quarter.
Against Winfield, McKenzie “Zee” Akers registered 15 first-quarter points, including four long-range bombs, to spark Princeton to a 25-9 margin after the first stop.
Princeton accomplished these blowout wins with a short bench due to injury and illness. Stephanie Lambert and Brandy Snow did not play in either contest. Ashley Culicerto did not play in the Winfield game, and Hannah Preservati sustained an injury in the opening seconds of the second half in the Winfield match and did not return to the floor.
Preservati will undergo an MRI examination today, to determine the severity of the injury. She was just able to return to play due to an ACL repair.
Thursday, the Tigerettes squared off against a 4-1 Nitro team, but results were not available at press deadline). On Dec. 16, the Tigerettes will be back home, hosting PikeView High’s Lady Panthers, and on Dec. 18, Cabell Midland comes to Princeton.
Princeton received strong efforts from many players in this impressive win. Akers tallied 26 points, including four threes. She also handed out seven assists. Marissa Mullens pumped in 18 markers, with three baskets coming from long range. Khadija Payne had a super game. She established careers highs in rebounds (15) and points (12), enabling her to record her first double-double. Hannah Preservati scored four points before her injury. Maranda Wimmer chipped in with four points, for a career high. Rachel Surface and Jessica Inman did not score, but both players made major contributions to the team’s victory. Surface grabbed a career-high 12 boards, while Inman added seven rebounds and seven assists, both career highs.
At the half, Princeton led 34-20. Early in the third quarter, the Lady Generals cut the margin to 34-24. At that point, the Tigerettes started a 19-4 spurt to end the quarter with a 53-28 margin.
The home team shot better — 39 percent to 26 percent, made seven three-pointers to two, and controlled the boards, 42-30. Winfield had a slight advantage in turnovers — 17 to 15. Mara Rhoades bucketed 15 points to pace the Lady Generals.
The junior varsity game was an exciting defensive struggle, with the home team prevailing 40-36.