HORSE CAVE — After the first quarter, the Lady Colonels held a four-point lead over the Lady Dragons with an 18-14 advantage.
Caverna then went on a 17-4 run to begin the second quarter and entered halftime with a 39-25 lead.
The Lady Colonels made six 3-pointers in the first half, which helped stretch the floor and create open shots underneath the basket, Caverna coach Cornelius Faulkner said after the game.
“The great thing about this team this year is I’ve got guys that can really shoot the ball,” he said. “Even my post guys can shoot the 3, which lets us stretch the floor a little bit.”
In the third quarter, the two teams traded baskets — and Warren Central got within 10 — but the Lady Colonels added a few points at the end of the period to have a 50-37 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Lady Dragons struggled offensively in the final period, making their first basket with 4:04 left in the game, and they eventually fell to Caverna 69-50.
“Overall, I feel like this was the best ball game we’ve played collectively as a team,” Faulkner said. “We didn’t turn the ball over as much as we had been turning it over.
“I felt like our shot selection was better, and we moved the ball a lot better.”
The Lady Colonels had four players score in double digits.
Junior point guard Stacia Burnett led the team with 20 points, followed by junior forward McKeeya Faulkner (16), freshman guard Krista Gamboa (16) and eighth-grade guard Kaliana Richardson (10).
“They’ve figured out the more they can do together, the better team they are,” Coach Faulkner said, adding that Stacia has really developed into a floor general.
“Stacia Burnett is a ball player,” he said. “She’s figured it out finally, and she’s just a junior.
“We’re going to go where Stacia goes, and as teams adjust to try to stop Stacia, I think our other guys are figuring out to step up — and how to step up.”
The Lady Colonels also played really well defensively, Faulkner said, even though they had to “sit back in a 2-3 zone.”
“Warren Central is a very athletic team,” he said. “We adjusted well in the second half.”
The Lady Dragons fall to 0-4 on the season, while the Lady Colonels (3-0) remain undefeated, returning to action on the road against Green County on Friday.
Faulkner said it feels great to still be undefeated after three games.
“Normally, we struggle. We could go 1-2 or 0-3,” he said, adding that coaching this young team last season has helped improve the program. “I felt like this year we would be better just because of the game experience that they’ve been getting, and the skill work that they’ve put into basketball.
“We made some really nice passes tonight because we learned how to ball fake, or be patient, wait for the cutter and then make the pass.”
Faulkner added that, last season, they would rush the pass, which led to a lot more errant throws and turnovers.
“Overall, tonight was a really good effort.”