Stifling full-court pressure defense that was never solved by Notre Dame lifted the Lady Longhorns to a season-opening 58-20 victory Monday evening in Phoenix.
"Notre Dame was never able to get in their offense," first-year coach Rory Huff said. "To hold a team to just 20 points means the ladies are working hard on ‘D'."
Although the Lady Horns performed well on defense all evening, offensively, the team didn't meet Huff's expectations.
"We shot poorly. That will be a focus of upcoming practices," the coach said.
Krystal McRae and Kodi Kepp led the team in scoring with 13 points each. Junior guard Tanya Davis, a stalwart on last year's squad, finished with 10 points. "Those three had pretty good games," Huff said.
He praised Brittney Owens for her rebounding efforts. "She had a good night on the boards," Huff said.
In junior varsity action, Brianna Quinlan's 14 points helped Payson methodically carve out a 56-17 triumph over Notre Dame. Molly Agnes finished with 10.
The ladies return to action Dec. 2 when they travel to Scottsdale to take on the Coronado Dons. Game times are 4 p.m. (freshman), 5:30 p.m. (jayvee) and 7 p.m. (varsity).
On Dec. 4, the Lady Horns pack their new team bags and travel to the Laughlin area, where they will compete in the three-day River Valley Invitational.
All of the varsity players, and the coach, recently received team travel bags as gifts from the employees of Qwest.
"We are very grateful to them," Huff said.
River Valley tournament dates and times will be announced next week.