WATSON – Doyle’s finishing kick to the end of summer league play went a long way in reinforcing the good vibrations Lady Tigers have about their upcoming 2018-19 season.
There’s no doubt Doyle coach Samantha White can sense the optimism that surrounds her team following an undefeated showing in summer league record – capped by Thursday’s 36-29 victory over Live Oak at C.B. Wheat Gymnasium.
“I’m excited about the upcoming season,” White said. “I thought this was a good summer league for us and we got to play some good competition. I was happy about them being excited about the season because they’re excited, too. Anytime the kids are excited that makes it real easy.”
Sydney Taylor played a key role in Doyle’s second-half surge, tying the game at 29-29 with a 3-pointer and Presleigh Scott gave the Lady Tigers the lead for good with three minutes to play.
Doyle, which made 7 of 14 shots in the fourth quarter, scored the last seven points of the game. Scott added the final four points on a lay-up and putback to lead her team with 15 points.
Taylor scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half, including a three-point play to start the fourth quarter that gave Doyle its first lead of the second half.
“She was a spark for us,” White said of Taylor. “We played much better on the tail end of that second half.”
Defense was at the heart of Doyle’s success.
The Lady Tigers held the Lady Eagles to 3 of 16 shooting in the fourth quarter and forced them into a total of 16 turnovers.
Moreover, the trio of Scott, Taylor and Madison Duhon rotated guarding Live Oak standout Dijone’ Flowers, who scored her only field goal of the second half early in the third quarter and finished with 9 points.
“We took turns and tried to stay on her and make sure she didn’t shoot,” Scott said. “She’s really good at shooting and driving to the goal. I think we did pretty good on her.”
Doyle outscored Live Oak 16-7 in the fourth quarter and 22-15 in the second half.
“We still didn’t do a good job of defending some screens, but with our defense on D (Flowers), I was pretty pleased,” White said. “Then we capitalized on the turnovers. That’s kind of the way we play.”
Live Oak went on a 10-0 run in the first quarter with four different players contributing to a 10-3 lead with Aislinn White’s three-point play capping that stretch.
Doyle, which made 3 of its first 12 shots and turned the ball over seven times, rallied from a 12-5 deficit and tied the game at 12-all on a 3-pointer from Claire Glascock and a driving lay-up from Taylor.
Flowers tied the game (14-14) at halftime with a drive to the goal and the Lady Eagles led 22-20 after three quarters on Harmony Johnson’s steal and lay-in at the buzzer.
“I’m proud of them,” Live Oak coach Michelle Yawn said. “I can’t necessarily take the second half of the game, but I’m not going to negate what they’ve done over the summer. I think they’ve learned some things. The biggest thing is they take away the mental aspect of it. I think this year will be a good one for as long as we stay away from injuries.”