Feb. 23—Even when the Muenster Lady Hornets aren't at their best, they are still trouncing teams. That journey is sure to get tougher in the coming games, but Saturday, Feb. 20, Muenster took down Como-Pickton 53-17 to advance to the regional quarterfinal round Tuesday, Feb. 23, against Tom Bean.
Tom Bean is 21-4 on the season and earned itself a top playoff seed. Muenster head coach Chris Hightower said the Lady Cats sport a different style than the Lady Hornets.
"I think our body of work has definitely prepared us for them," Hightower said. "They're bigger than we've seen so far and they've got a couple of girls that are 5-9 and 5-10. They just run zone so they can spread out a little bit and we can generally handle zones pretty good."
Hightower anticipates the Lady Hornets' own size being able to combat the Lady Cats' length. He said East Texas teams are typically faster and more athletic.
"When those styles clash, one team will complain that the other team is too physical and too round and the other will be complaining that there are too many fouls being called," Hightower said.
Against Como-Pickton, the Lady Hornets struggled to shoot from the outside and while they were OK overall from the floor, Hightower said that lack of consistency from 3-point range might hurt them in the future against tougher opponents.
"We were 3-for-21 from the 3-point line and Annie Anderle was 1-for-10 and even on her worst day, she's not even close to that," Hightower said. "We won by 35 and the defense was great, but we just didn't shoot the ball well. We had open looks that didn't go down. If we do that against Tom Bean, it could be a closer game than we think it should be."
Muenster was led by 20 points from Martie McCoy while Anderle still put up 15 points.
Defensively against Como-Pickton, the 17 points allowed were tied for the fewest Muenster has given up in the past seven games.
Hightower credited the team's preparation for the performance.
"We watch tons of film and our girls were ready," Hightower said. "They struggled early on to score. We just struggled to hit our shots."
While there is no physical regional tournament this season due to COVID-19 protocol, if the Lady Hornets defeat Tom Bean, they will make it back the regional tournament — a small benchmark on the way to hopefully what is another run to the state championship game.
"This is the game that gets you into that next strata and next tier," Hightower said. "It's a huge game and our girls understand the importance of this game. This is the furthest Tom Bean has made it in 34 years I think, so it should be a great atmosphere. There should be great crowds on both sides and it makes this kind of game fun. This is another step in our journey."