AUGUSTA, KANSAS – It seemed anytime Augusta needed a bucket, it was Ella Puckett who stepped up. She hit a big three in the first half and when El Dorado made a run, it was once again Puckett who stepped up in the fourth quarter.
Puckett scored 15 points as Augusta beat rival El Dorado 32-25 on Friday night.
It's the Orioles first victory since Dec. 6. With the win, Augusta improves to 2-4 on the season.El Dorado is now 0-7.
“This is a tremendous win for us,” Maloy said. “We needed this.”
Ella Puckett was the all-around player head coach Rainey Maloy needed. She hit threes and made opponents on the defense frustrated with her solid play. Puckett’s big three with 4:37 to go in the second quarter gave Augusta their largest lead at 12-6.
“She [Puckett] stepped up and hit some big shots for us,” Maloy said. “I’ve been looking for that from her all year.”
The Lady Wildcats answered back with a 7-0 run of their own, a three by Mallory Parsons and a bucket by Bailey Camian were able to give El Dorado a 13-12 lead, their first of the game, 3:23 remaining in the first half.
El Dorado failed to trip an Augusta player in the corner, she was able to get the ball out above the break and found Puckett at the rim for the bucket and gave Augusta a 16-13 lead into the break.
“Our team chemistry was much better today,” Puckett said. “Tonight was better overall.”
Puckett was a large reason why August found themselves in control in the third. They pushed the lead to as many as 13083 of multiple Puckett threes. Her pull up from the right side forced El Dorado to call a timeout less than three minutes into the quarter.
Side to side ball movement was the easy way for the Orioles to break the 3-2 zone the Lady Wildcats were running. It eventually was leading to baskets inside the paint through the movement.
“It’s very hard,” Pucket said. “We were able to get open shots for other people and that goes back to team chemistry. We weren’t forcing it.”
Sydney Scott hit a turnaround jumper to give Augusta a double-digit lead with 2:01 left to go in the third quarter at 27-17.
The Lady Wildcats would get an and-one opportunity from Camian but could not convert it, trimming the August lead to 27-21 fresh to start the fourth quarter.
Scott and Puckett once again teamed up to put Augusta ahead by double digits, essentially icing the game.
Augusta will now travel to play No. 2 McPherson on Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.
“McPherson is going to be tough,” Maloy said. “We’re going to come out fight hard and compete.”
El Dorado 6 7 6 6 – 25
AUGUSTA 7 9 11 5 – 32
El Dorado: Camian 10, Faudere 6, Eaton 4, Mallory Parsons 3, Motter 2
Augusta: Puckett 15, Scott 6, Tipton 3, Terry 3, Peterson 2, Anderson 1