Van Alstyne 53, Commerce 31

The Lady Panthers added another layer of futility to to the Commerce Lady Tigers’ 2016-17 record with a 53-31 road win on Jan. 17.

The loss was the Lady Tigers seventh in district play and they are still looking for that first league win.

Neither team got off to a memorable start. Van Alstyne got a first quarter basket from senior Madison Reno in a 7-5 opening period.

Senior Carly Ochoa knocked down her first 3-pointer of the year, getting nothing but net on a shot from the right corner.

Reno opened the second quarter scoring from that same spot, canning a 3-ball on the teams’ first possession of the period.

She added another from deep later in the quarter and finished with 21 points for the night.

The Lady Tigers game plan looked to be all about letting Reno score, but stopping sophomore Maegan Thomas in the middle.

On every Van Alstyne possession, two, sometimes three Commerce defenders battled the Lady Panther sophomore post.

Thomas scored 14 points in the game and completed the double-double with 10 rebounds.

She had six points in the second quarter, two coming after gathering an offensive carom.

Sophomore BreAnna McCaskill had a basket early in the quarter, taking a feed from the top by sophomore Avery Duncan. She added the final points of the first half, as the visitors took a 29-16 lead to the break.

The halftime speeches apparently weren’t that inspiring as both teams cooled off in the third quarter.

Van Alstyne scored just nine points, but that was two better than the Lady Tigers so the lead was bumped to 13 heading to the final period.

In this game last year, in this gym, it was a Reno 3-ball at the buzzer that gave Van Alstyne a 1-point win. Tonight, Reno sent in a 3-pointer to open the fourth, and that gave Van Alstyne a 41-25 lead and got the bench some playing time.

Thomas stuck back another offensive rebound and later scored an old-school three point play.

Sophomore Emme Fernandez capped the scoring with a drive to the hoop as the Lady Panthers notched their 20th win of the season.

Friday night the long-awaited rematch with Lone Oak is on the agenda.