By T. Scott Boatright
The Oak Grove Lady Tigers ran fast and hard Tuesday night at the Choudrant High School Gym, taking control from the get-go en route to a 57-20 win over the Lady Aggies.
Oak Grove led 20-7 at the end of the opening stanza and pushed their advantage to 36-15 by halftime.
Losing last year’s star player — Kylee Portilloz, who is having an outstanding true freshman season at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado, Arkansas, and is averaging double figures as a true freshman for the Lady Stars with 17.4 points and 11.8 rebounds -— have presented some big shoes Underwood is still looking for his team to fill.
That showed when the Lady Aggies managed only one point in the third quarter with Oak Grove building a 51-16 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We don’t have one person we can depend on – we’ve got to do it as a team,” Underwood said. “But that’s what this team does. They work together, they love each other, they play hard for each other and for me. We’re just trying to find ways to win ball games, and we’re going to keep trying until we get there.
Brelyn Pyle led the Lady Aggies with five points while Heather Murphey and Abby Frazier hit for four points each while Mattie Johnson added three for CHS.
“We’re just having a hard time putting the ball in the hole,” Underwood said. “We’re a small team and a young team, and we’re just trying to find a way to score buckets.”
Underwood said that desire and determination have nothing to do with his team’s early-season struggles that have left them at 3-13 heading into the Christmas break.
“We’ve got all the heart and grit and energy in the world,” Underwood said. “But we just haven’t been able to find a way to get our offense going yet.”
The Lady Aggies will return to CHS Gym at 5 p.m. Dec. 27 when they play host to Calvin.