MINERAL WELLS —
Guard McKinley Bostad was almost a non-factor (finishing with eight points, well below her season average), and Ladycats leading scorer Autumn Williams hit only two field goals in the first half.
Offensively, Shelstead put post Sydney Shelstead at point guard and instructed her to run the offense.
“We moved Sydney to the point for this game,” Ed Shelstead said. “We moved the point deep to get Williams off the ball, and I thought Sydney did a good job considering she has never played that role.
“She got tired and we had some turnovers late, but overall she had a heck of a game.
“Defensively, it was a good group effort, but how Williams hurt us was the few times she got to the rim down the middle. I don’t think she hurt us in the half court, it was the open court.
“We got tired, and we got a little rattled at times. But Kennedale is a great team, and you have to give them credit. They are athletic, they get after you and they force turnovers.
“Sydney rebounded well and hit some big shots, and Kennedy (Shelstead) also hit some big shots. Bar none, it was the best game Kennedy has played all year.
“Kennedy’s defensive deflections, her hustle and her big shots made us better. I am also proud of Niya (Benavides). It wasn’t easy for her with a Kennedale girl chasing her all night.
“It’s not an easy situation to be the identified shooter (in Kennedale’s defensive scheme). But she did well.”
MWHS jumped out to a 6-0 lead after a pair of free throws from Sydney Shelstead – who finished with 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds – a three-pointer by Benavides and a charity shot by Kennedy Shelstead.
The lead grew to 8-2 after a driving layup by Courtney Peña before Williams canned a three-pointer and Tahnia McDaniel hit a jumper to cut the lead to 8-7 after the first period.