LIVINGSTON – Doyle girls basketball team stayed undefeated in District 10-2A play, using a familiar formula to get there.
The Lady Tigers forced 36 turnovers and built a big first-half lead on their way to a 69-26 victory over French Settlement.
“I have just really, really preached starting early, starting the way we play early and trying to finish games while there’s still a lot of game left to play, and we did a really, really good job,” Doyle coach Sam White said after her team moved to 22-2 and 2-0 in district. “The girls were super excited about this game. They were focused. This may be the most focused we’ve been all year. They did a really good job of that. They came out very much ready to play.”
French Settlement, which dropped to 8-10 overall and 1-1 in league play, played without Dannah Martin, who suffered a concussion in the Lady Lions’ district-opening win over Springfield. Daniel Martin said there is no timetable for his daughter’s return.
“It definitely hurts us not having any of our players … because we’re just so young on the bench, so if we lose one player, it hurts,” FSHS coach Daniel Martin said. “It was just one of those games, you know.
Doyle got rolling early, jumping out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter, turning FSHS turnovers into points. French Settlement’s only baskets in the quarter came from Payton Clouatre and Serenity Smith.
“We did a really good job in our full-court press,” White said. “We rotated well.”
Elise Jones, who led Doyle with 13 points, scored nine in the first quarter.
“I kind of got on it a little bit earlier than usual,” said Jones, who struggled from the field early in the Lady Tigers’ district-opening win over St. Helena. “It helps us a lot, especially when other people are on in the beginning just to get that lead so we can get those other (younger) players in and get them playing time in.”
To compound things for the Lady Lions, Clouatre and Shay Parker each picked up three fouls in the opening quarter, forcing Daniel Martin to begin subbing early.
“We’re already missing one guard, and then we lose our point guard (Clouatre) to foul trouble,” Daniel Martin said. “And then we lose kind of our heart on defense (Parker) to foul trouble. On a team that’s not very deep already, it definitely, definitely hurts us.”
Doyle didn’t let up to start the second quarter as the Lady Lions had trouble handling their pressure. Sydney Taylor’s steal and layup capped a 13-0 run, which put the Lady Tigers up 28-4.
“If you turn the ball over 36 times, you’re going to lose, absolutely, and we knew that,” Daniel Martin said. “We knew that. We knew we had to take care of the basketball, and we knew we had to keep them off the boards, and we didn’t do either one of those things. It’s up to us to find a way to get better at those things, so that’s where us as coaches will work hard to try to figure out how we can get better in those areas.”
Clouatre layup stopped the run, but Doyle’s Claire Glascock hit back-to-back 3-pointers during a run that extended the lead to 39-6.
Glascock added 12 points on four 3-pointers as Doyle connected on 10 treys as a team.
French Settlement’s Serenity Smith scored all five points during a burst which gave Doyle a 43-11 lead at halftime.
Smith finished with 11 points, while Clouatre had 10.
Doyle’s Kourtlynn Lacey and Taylor nailed consecutive treys and Lacey added another to put Doyle up 54-15 at the end of the third quarter.
FSHS got within 56-18 on Clouatre’s jumper, but Doyle got a 3-pointer from Glascock and two from Madison Duhon during a run which stretched the lead to 69-18.
“When we relax, we shoot the basketball, and we were,” White said. “I could tell that Claire and Duhon were really feeling their shot. When they shoot the three, they do a good job of it. I could tell they were real settled and when they got that open look, I wanted them to take it.”
The Lady Lions closed the game with an 8-0 run as both coaches emptied their benches.
Duhon added 11 points, and Meghan Watson had nine.
For the Lady Lions, it’s the start of life without Dannah Martin for the foreseeable future.
“She’s 20 points a game, so it’s hard to adjust to that, but we believe in our other players, and we believe they can step up and get the job done,” Daniel Martin said.