Though playoffs aren’t a possibility, El Dorado’s Hannah Dixon, Gina Somara and Katryna Holifield were still happy with Thursday’s 66-45 Senior Night victory over rival Union Mine.
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The senior trio, who started and ended the night on the court, combined to score a third of the Cougars’ points. D’back Kinsey Del Rio posted game-high scoring honors with 15 points while Faith Wilson and Kylie Haverson each had 13 to lead El Dorado.
“We’ve been playing together since the sixth grade so we’re comfortable together,” the seniors said. ‘It was nice to have the crowd support and a great way to end it (Senior Night victory over Union Mine).”
Haverson, Dixon and Holifield dropped in first quarter three-pointers as the hosts, despite missing all eight free throw attempts, grabbed a 15-9 lead.
“We couldn’t get more separation early although I was impressed with how we came out and looked to be aggressive. I thought we executed well in the second half and everyone contributed,” El Dorado’s Pat Winter said after his 302nd coaching win. ”
Del Rio answered by making 7-of-8 from the line as Union Mine crept within six before the Cougars, behind the bench play of freshmen Samantha Klinkenborg and Kayla Cotten, extended to 33-24 at the half.
What sank Union Mine was El Dorado’s 9-0 run to open the third quarter that ended on Del Rio’s three from the wing.
“One of our biggest weaknesses has been right after halftime when we think we don’t have to change and then we have a letdown,” Del Rio said.
Though D’back Yvonne Taylor pumped in seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter, Union Mine, forced to foul, lost ground on the scoreboard as the Cougars made 16 free throws over the final eight minutes. Thursday’s intra-county matchup saw a total of 69 free throw attempts.
“It felt like we couldn’t find any rhythm with our shooting, D’back coach Chris Del Rio said. “It wasn’t their press that stopped us — we got to the basket but just couldn’t finish.”
Courtney Bruno added 10 points for Union Mine.