Noelle Yancy driving

TVCC Lady Cardinal sophomore Noelle Yancy drives past South Plains Jordan Brown in a 72-53 victory Wednesday at Cardinal Gym. Yancy scored 11 points in the win.

The No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals won a 20th straight game in Wednesday’s 72-53 victory over No. 3-ranked South Plains Lady Texans.

With the win, the Lady Cardinals improve to 2-0 overall. They won their opener over Collin 84-46 and return to action Saturday at home against Ranger. That game is set for a 2 p.m. tip at Cardinal Gym.

“We need to work on boxing out better,” TVCC coach Precious Ivy said. “We need to find people in the scramble and we have to communicate a lot better. I am really big on communication and I preach it. We did a decent job but I hope over time that we get better and better at communication.”

The Lady Cardinals took no prisoners in the first 20 minutes of action building a 35-14 lead at the half. TVCC held a 22-6 lead after the first quarter, which pleased Ivy based on how the team performed.

“We practice every day on defense and trying to not get the ball in the middle of the court,” Ivy said. “That is when it is dangerous when you have no help in the middle of the court. We have been preaching to not let the ball get in the middle and against this team, we know they want to play inside out. We wanted to make sure that we kept enough pressure on the inside.”

TVCC had four players score in double figures as Taiyanna Jackson scored 19 points, followed by defensive leader Kaye Clark with 15. Ta’Niya Jackson came off the bench to added 11, which newcomer Noelle Yancy also scored 11.

Following the 21 point lead at the break, South Plains cut into the deficit outscoring TVCC 25-16 in the third quarter for a 51-39 deficit. They got to within 10 points with 2:30 remaining in the third as Debroa Reis found Grace Hunter for a 3-pointer and the 47-37 deficit.

Jordan Brown then scored on a jumper before Mikayla Hutchinson found Jackson for the bucket with 1:30 remaining in the third.

“They came out at halftime with some fire,” Ivy said. “I knew coach (Ara) Braten would get into them at halftime because we did such a good job of scoring and moving the ball. They made a good adjustment by going into that zone and we were hitting our outside shots. I told my girls if you can’t hit shots, you can get to the paint and maybe the foul line.”

In the final quarter, TVCC got back to its aggressive defense and outscored South Plains, 21-14 in the final frame. They went on a 16-6 run in the final 7:01 to put the game out of reach.

Ivy said with a Top 3 contest in only their second game of the season was huge for the team to see how they would respond after a 32-1 season last year.

“It was major but these kids are so hungry because it was taken away from them last year,” Ivy said. “I mean I would put them up against anybody because of our heart and effort that we give. I can’t say that we are there yet, but it all depends on our heart and effort every night. It was big due to the confidence of our team, and it will be big going into the conference next week. I am proud that they stuck together and pulled it out.”

SOUTH PLAINS (53) – Martyna Czescik 1, Grace Hunter 9, Viktoria Ivanova 8, Debora Reis 12, Ewa Kielar 3, Jordan Brown 11, Denista Petrova 1, Serena Waters 8.

TVCC (72) – Alexis Brown 2, Kiana Anderson 3, Noelle Yancy 11, Mahoganie Williams 6, Taiyanna Jackson 19, Kaye Clark 15, Taylor Hutchins 4, Mikayla Hutchinson 1, Ta’Niya Jackson 11.

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