By Malcolm Butler
A few minutes into Friday night’s non-district contest against Saline, Cedar Creek found itself trailing 5-0.
But a pair of three-pointers by Lizzie McAdams and eight points by Allie Furr ignited the Lady Cougars who steam rolled Saline 61-21 at the Brickhouse.
Furr scored 25 points, including hitting 13-of-15 free throws, while McAdams added 17 points which included a trio of three-pointers as the Lady Cougars improved to 11-4 on the season.
“I see a group that is trending in a positive way,” said Creek head coach Gene Vandenlangenberg. “When a little adversity would hit us early in the season, we would show it. Tonight, we didn’t get off to a very good start, but we would keep playing. We played through it. We showed a little bit of toughness. We didn’t let it get to us.”
Creek led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter and then almost put a goose egg on the scoreboard defensively in the second before a three-pointer by Saline with less than a minute to play closed the Lady Cougars lead to 25-12 at the break.
“I think we played Lady Cougar basketball,” said Vandenlangenberg “We want to get after people and run up and down the court. Allie did a really good job pushing the ball. We got some run outs. We made them try to defend us full court for four quarters.”
The Lady Cougars poured in 20 points in the third quarter behind Furr’s 11 points and four more by McAdams. Creek used a full-court press and a dominating performance on the glass to pull away from Saline.
“They won the rebounding battle in the first quarter, but after that Lillian Soto really stepped up for us on the boards,” said Vandenlangenberg. “She had 11 or 12 rebounds. They were strong rebounds. She helped us secure the boards. When she does that we can get some kick outs and start the fast break. It’s a team effort. We had a lot of great effort.”
Despite emptying his bench midway through the fourth quarter, Creek kept Saline off the scoreboard over the final eight minutes of play, outscoring the opponent 16-0. Ainsley Riley scored five points and Caroline James added a mid-range jumper to highlight some of the play by the Lady Cougars reserves.
However, it was Furr and McAdams that were the offensive forces for Creek.
“Lizzie is playing well for us,” said Vandenlangenberg. “The last few games she is scoring in double figures. We need that. We need a complimentary scorer to go along with Allie.”
Creek will face Lincoln Prep tonight at 6 p.m. at the Ruston Sports Complex in the District 2-1A opener for both teams. The Lady Cougars already defeated Lincoln Prep 56-16 in a non-district game in December as part of the Neil Killgore Memorial Tournament.
“It was a good momentum builder as we start district,” said Vandenlangenberg. “I hope this rolls over to Monday. They are a new team in our district. We have played them. They have a team that plays hard. They play hard for four quarters. They have some athletes, and they can run the floor. On the road in district you take nothing for granted.”