BYNG — Finish.
That was the message Byng girls coach Trent Miller kept relaying to his team during its home game against Comanche Tuesday night inside the Bill Koller Field House.
The Lady Pirates started finishing strong in the second half, hit a fourth-quarter lull but ultimately finished off the Lady Indians 48-39.
Byng improved to 5-1 on the season, while Comanche — ranked No. 19 in Class 3A — slipped to 6-4. Of Comanche’s four setbacks, three have come to local teams — twice to Byng and once to Class A No. 1 Vanoss.
The Lady Pirates didn’t finish much in the first half, but still led 17-9 after freshman Alona Cooper’s steal and layup at the 2:44 mark of the second quarter. Byng started off hitting just 4-of-17 field goals but Comanche was even colder, going 3-of-21 to start the contest.
However, Comanche got a 3-pointer from Teagan Pineda and a layup from Gracee Miller in the final minute of the second period to close the gap to 17-14 at halftime.
The Lady Indians were within 24-20 at the 4:37 mark of the third period before the hosts went on a game-changing 16-2 run. After two free throws from Gina Dean at the 7:08 mark of the fourth period, Byng held what seemed like a comfortable 40-22 lead.
“We came out in the third quarter and I really felt like we imposed our will on them,” Miller said.
However, the Lady Pirates took their foot off the gas and Comanche scored 14 unanswered points to get within 40-36 after a steal and layup by Jasmine Francis with 2:45 remaining.
Byng limited Comanche to just three points the rest of the way following a timeout by Miller.
“We kind of exhaled a little bit and quit attacking and looked like we thought the game was over and they didn’t think it was. Sometimes it’s hard to get back into attack mode. We just got a little passive,” Miller said.
“I just told them to go play downhill. We were trying to play the wrong way and just settling. I told them if we just got back on the aggressive side of things we’d be OK,” he said.
Byng sank six free throws in the final 1:25 — three by Kennedy Large, two from Trenity Miller and one by MacKenzie Kent — to help salt the game away.
Large, who scored a game-high 21 points despite getting into early foul trouble, eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career with a big bucket with 2:33 left that snapped Comanche’s late run. She also had nine rebounds and two blocked shots in the game.
“That’s a nice accomplishment. That’s a lot of time in the gym. That’s God-given talent but not wasting that God-given talent. She works hard and I’m extremely proud of her,” Miller said.
Britney Brooks-Teel just missed out on a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds. Cooper added eight points for Byng, while Deesa Neely scored five points and had three rebounds and four steals.
Caitlyn Blair led Comanche with nine points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Kynli Morris followed with eight points.
Byng hosts another ranked foe Friday when Class 4A No. 11 Plainview comes to town.
Byng boys cruise by Comanche
The Byng Pirates started the game on an 18-3 run and never looked back in a 61-39 runaway win over Comanche.
Byng improved to 6-3 on the year, while Comanche dropped to 1-8.
“It was good to get back in the winning column after back to back losses,” said Byng head coach Zack Samaha. “I thought we came out with the right mentality from the opening tip and showed why we can be a good team.”
After Byng freshman Bo Boatwright scored on a putback late in the second quarter, the Pirates’ lead had ballooned to 30-8.
“It is hard to find things wrong when you win by 22, but we still expect to play to a certain standard regardless of score or opponent. We emphasize process over results in everything we do,” Samaha said.
The Pirates used a balanced attack to dismantle the Indians.
Parker Presley scored 13 points and pulled down 11 rebounds before fouling out and Boatwright finished with 12 points and nine boards for the home team.
Cooper McCage added 11 points as Byng reserves combined for 29 points.
Carter Colombe turned in a solid all-around game with seven points, six rebounds and two steals. Dylan Reed and Malachi Schilreff chipped in six points apiece.
Byng also assisted on 13 of 20 made field goals in the contest and recorded 22 transition points.