There is a step that good teams make when they become great teams, this season the Circle girls basketball squad has made that jump. On Tuesday night the T-Birds put their skills on showcase as they topped rival El Dorado 64-29.
Good teams tend to have one or two scoring options and most nights play decent defense. What separates Circle from those teams is how many options they have and their intensity with pressure defense. The T-Birds have seven different athletes who on any given night could lead their team in scoring, that’s almost unheard of in high school basketball.
The unselfishness displayed by the T-Birds is unmatched. Their pressure defense forces several turnovers, Circle enhances that by always making the extra pass.
El Dorado opened the night with a floater by Caedyn Reinhardt putting the Cats ahead 2-0, but Circle responded with a fury of points giving them the lead for good. Kali Martin hit one of two rom the free throw line to put the T-Birds in the scoring column. Carissa Beck followed with a jumper to give Circle a 3-2 lead. Raegen Galloway tallied two from the line and Circle had a quick 5-0 run.
The T-Bird run extended to 11-0 before Mallory Parsons sank a pair of free throws to give El Dorado two points, but the momentum quickly went away as Anna Keller had an answer on the other end. Circle would take a 15-6 lead after the first frame and never look back.
Caedyn Reinhardt hit a shot from deep as El Dorado looked to make a run, but again Circle had an answer. Five passes in all led to a wide open shot for Saige Jeffries as she buried a jumper giving the T-Birds a 23-11 advantage.
Circle would take a 21 point lead into the break on buckets by Anna Keller, Kelsie Kelly and Kali Martin to close the first half in style.
The third quarter began with Kali Martin getting an assist as Raegen Galloway finished with a layup. A few possessions later, El Dorado made the mistake of leaving Carissa Beck open for a corner three as the T-Birds led 43-19.
Circle closed the frame on a 13-5 run to take a 56-24 lead into the final quarter of play.
Kelsie Kelly went on a 4-0 run in the fourth quarter to push Circle ahead 62-24. A running clock would allow minimal points in the fourth as Circle finished with a 64-29 victory.
Circle will be back in action on Friday as they host Augusta. El Dorado will hit the road to Winfield.
El Dorado 6 9 9 5 - 29
Circle 15 24 20 8 - 64
El Dorado:Reinhardt 12, Eaton 6, S. Howland 4, Faudere 3, Henley 2, Parsons 2
Circle: Martin 20, Kelly 13, Beck 9, Galloway 9, Keller 4, Perry 4, Garrison 4, Jeffries 2