By Kyle Roberts
Ruston High’s varsity basketball squads both picked up wins Tuesday night at home with the girls winning by a final score of 56-31 and the boys winning 55-33.
The girls improve to 2-0 to start the season while the boys win was the season opener for the team.
“I thought there was some beginning of the year issues and getting everyone to gel,” Ruston girls’ coach Meredith Graf said. “Particularly, I did not love the energy and intensity from our team after the first quarter. I was really not happy about it. I think we responded well in the third quarter with a sense of pride and purpose. My message to them is that every game we step out there, we have to get better. Obviously, it’s a long season, and there are so many things to improve on in so many ways.”
Junior point guard Jaliyah McWain led all scorers with 19 points, while sophomore forward Kiersynce McNeal finished with 13 points.
On the boys’ side, the win for the Bearcats came after an explosive second half. After leading 20-10 with a few minutes to go before halftime, Minden went on a run that capitalized off of Ruston’s scoring woes through midway in the third quarter. From there, the explosive Bearcats would score 35 points in the second half to cruise to the win.
“(Minden) did some things that we didn’t see in the preseason,” Bearcat coach Ryan Bond said. “We got stagnant and couldn’t make any shots for a stretch against their zone. I didn’t like our effort overall. That’s something I talked to them about; we have got to have a collective effort. That’s a simplistic approach, but you’ve got to have effort.”
Junior Lontravious Dimmer led the Bearcats with 16 points on the night, while senior Braylan McNeal and junior Jamadrion Lillard finished with 10 points apiece.
The boys return to action Thursday night at home against Airline with tipoff set for 6 p.m. The girls will take on Haughton at 4:30 p.m. on the road Friday.
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