Donaldson's double-double leads Wildcat girls to victory
The Mulvane girls' team may have nuzzled in for the holiday break a couple hours too early Thursday.
Physically, the Wildcats were on the court with Rose Hill. Mentally? Emotionally? Well …
“We were just dead. Flat-footed. Lethargic. Not moving,” said Kendra Banzet, Mulvane head coach. “I said, 'This is the challenge. You have to go out and be more intense.'”
Apparently, the speech inspired the Wildcats enough. After bumbling to a 24-19 lead at halftime, Mulvane won the third quarter 13-2 to separate from the Rockets on its way to a 52-29 win.
“(Banzet) told us that we all need to pick it up – that we need to push the ball, keep going after it and never give up – especially because it's Rose Hill,” said Mulvane's Destynee Donaldson.
Donaldson can take the weight of the scoring load as needed, and that was the circumstances against the Rockets. Two days prior, Mulvane was 9-for-11 from beyond the arc. Against Rose Hill, the Wildcats were 1-for-13.
Donaldson guided the way with an array of inside moves for 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“Destynee's pretty much the one that was keeping us alive in the first half. She was going to the ball and rebounding,” Banzet said. “When she wants to, she can do whatever she wants. Hopefully she'll take that to heart.”
Elise Gerlach added 10 points for Mulvane (6-1). KaSandra Melick frustrated the Rocket offense, taking five steals.
Jessica Rushing topped Rose Hill (2-4) with 11 points. Kynnedy Myers scored all eight of her points in the second quarter, helping keep the Rockets within striking distance.
Mulvane boys survive scare from Rose Hill
When times were tough, Mulvane decided to give in and be like its bitter rival.
Rose Hill was thrashing the Wildcats, so Mulvane needed a jump start to come away with a triumph on enemy territory. The Wildcats found inspiration across the court.
“Basically (we) just played more hectic. We tried to play more like their game,” said Mulvane's Jarrett Price. “They would get up and down the court quick, so we tried to match their intensity.”
Mulvane looked nothing like its normal self early on, anyway. Rose Hill blitzed to a 16-3 advantage in the first quarter, capped by a 3-pointer from Logan Welch.
That deficit took the rest of the half for Mulvane to erase. Alex Evans drilled a 3-pointer to put Mulvane up 34-32, a lead that squeaked to three at halftime.
Undeterred, Rose Hill fired back. Alek Santo popped a 3-pointer late in the third to give the Rockets a 10-point lead. Mulvane's Ty Redington peppered the net with two 3-pointers before the quarter ended to trim Rose Hill's lead to 53-49.
Late in the fourth, Price, and the rest of the Wildcats, morphed back into the team that has garnered high expectations.
Price dropped two free throws and Evans sank another 3-pointer to give Mulvane a lead it would not relinquish. The Wildcats prevailed 71-65.
“I knew (Mulvane would) be coming back with some energy level, because they're just hard working kids,” said Rose Hill head coach Steve Siemens.
Mulvane's high pressure defensive switch in the second half made the Rockets (1-5) fall cold in the second half from the perimeter. After draining 7-of-14 in the first 16 minutes, Rose Hill went 1-for-11 in the back half.
“Making shots can't dictate our energy level all throughout the game,” Siemens said. “Tonight, obviously, some threes go down and we're jumping around, beating each other on the chest. That's got to go on all the time.”
The Waddell boys did plenty in defeat. Austin dropped 20 points and 12 rebounds. Bret went for 13 and 12, while tacking on four blocks.
Price produced 15 points and 12 rebounds for Mulvane. The Wildcats put four others in double figures – Nolan Smith (13), Kyle Kilby (11), Ty Redington (11) and Evans (10).