Heading into Thursday night’s matchup with Class 2A powerhouse Cashion, it probably wasn’t in coach Trent Miller’s and the Byng Lady Pirates’ game plan to spot the Lady Wildcats an 18-point lead.
But that’s exactly what happened.
Cashion left the Lady Pirates shellshocked after scoring the game’s first 18 points and went on to bounce Byng 65-28.
The Lady Pirates, ranked No. 17 in Class 4A, fell to 8-2 on the year while Cashion (No. 2 in Class 2A) stayed unbeaten at 6-0.
Byng missed its first six shots from the field and two free throws to start the game, and after Cashion’s Lexy Maroney hit a jumper with less than three minutes left in the first period, the Lady Wildcats had forged their 18-0 advantage.
Kennedy Large finally got Byng on the scoreboard when she made a strong move inside for a basket at the 2:05 mark. She was fouled on the play but missed her free throw.
Byng’s Jordyn Eaton scored on a putback in the closing seconds to make it 20-4 at the end of the first quarter,
The Lady Pirates were much better in the second quarter and closed within 24-14 on a basket by Eaton at the 1:26 mark. However, Cashion playmaker Sydney Manning hit a 3-pointer — her fourth of the first half — to close out the second period and put the Lady Wildcats ahead 29-15 at the break.
Cashion sank seven of its first nine field goals to start the game and went a blistering 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) in the first half. Meanwhile, Byng hit just 6-of-23 shots (26.1 percent) through the first two quarters.
“When you make shots, it makes it a lot easier. We shot a really high percentage in that first half,” said Cashion head coach Totsy Manning. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and play with a lot of enthusiasm ... and I think our kids did a good job of feeding off each other when we did that.”
Cashion poured it on in the second half, outscoring Byng 36-13 over the final two quarters in the lopsided victory.
Sydney Manning finished 8-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point range and scored a game-high 25 points. She also had a game-high seven rebounds to go with four steals and two assists.
No other Cashion player reached double figures. Presley Payahsape and Lexy Maroney scored eight points apiece for the Lady Wildcats.
Byng got 10 points, three rebounds, three blocked shots and a steal from Britney Brooks-Teal off the bench. No other Byng player scored more than four points.
Cashion hit nine 3-point baskets in the game, compared to a 1-for-7 showing by the Lady Pirates. The Lady Wildcats also had a 37-24 rebounding edge.