WALKER — With his team’s once lopsided lead diminishing three minutes into the second quarter, Walker girls basketball coach Korey Arnold called timeout to substitute his entire starting five.
“I told them short-term greatness isn’t going to win a state title, Arnold said. “It takes long-term greatness. We’ve had some really good quarters and then act like we have no desire to play.”
Walker’s second wave of players maintained a double-digit halftime lead before the Lady Cats’ regulars returned to start the third quarter and responded with a blistering run to pull away from visiting Parkview Baptist 67-41 on Monday.
“I felt like we picked it up a little bit in the third quarter,” said Arnold, whose team takes part in the Livingston Parish Tournament at Springfield on Thursday at 6 p.m. “We’re still not mentally where we need to be consistency-wise.”
Reserve guard Treasure Mansur and co-leading scorer Kacie Fountain scored four points apiece during a 16-1 spurt over the first five minutes of the quarter, opening a 43-17 advantage on Jamie Gibson’s putback.
Walker’s relentless full-court pressure and trapping half-court defense forced Parkview into 12 third-quarter turnovers and limited the Eagles to 3-of-7 shooting.
PBS (6-3) went more than five minutes without a point until Leah Collins, who led the Eagles with 23 points, made a pair of free throws and added a basket.
“I can’t be more proud for how they played after that slow start and how they played the rest of the game,” PBS coach Jessica Shelton said.
Southeastern Louisiana signee Bailey Stears’ 3-pointer from the corner stopped PBS’ brief surge, and the Lady Cats, who shot 50 percent in the quarter, opened a 52-25 lead after three quarters on Mansur’s layup.
Fountain and Stears both finished with 17 points and Keona Brown added 11, taking a feed from Gibson for a layup that led to Walker’s largest lead (63-27) with 5:21 to play.
PBS, a state playoff team a year ago, won its own three-game tournament over the weekend that featured wins over Notre Dame of Crowley and Riverside Academy.
Walker’s pressure took an early toll on PBS, which played without a starting post player and ran out to a commanding 21-5 first-quarter lead with Fountain and Stears combining for 19 points.
“I talked to the girls about getting to a point where we wake up before the first quarter,” Shelton said. “I have to cut them a little slack with the tournament we just played and with the injury and not having our legs under us.”
Walker missed its first five shots of the second quarter and turned the ball over four times before Arnold had seen enough. PBS later pulled to within 24-16 on Collins’ 15-foot jumper but Katelynn McKenzie answered with a 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 1:10 left before halftime.
“We became very complacent,” Arnold said. “We turned the ball over, didn’t rotate on defense, and that’s something you have 100 percent control over.”