E’Mya Price smoothed the rough patches in Mallard Creek High’s girls’ basketball opener.
The guard nailed four three-pointers in the pivotal third quarter of the Mavericks’ 66-47 win against Butler on the Bulldogs’ home floor Thursday. Price, who finished with a game-high 20 points, sparked the Mavericks, No. 1 in the Sweet 16, during a decisive stretch when they outscored No. 11 Butler 18-9 to pull away.
“”That’s what broke their back,” Mavericks coach C.J. Johnson said. “Price is the secret weapon, although I guess she’s not a secret any more. When the focus is on everybody else, she gets those open shots and she usually nails them.”
Price’s explosive third quarter took Mallard Creek from a 26-all halftime deadlock to a 44-35 advantage over eight minutes. With the perimeter attack paying dividends, the Mavericks exploited improved spacing for easier baskets inside to lead by as many as 26 in the fourth quarter. Janae Davis scored 10 points for Mallard Creek, primarily on the inside, followed by Dazia Lawrence with nine.
“It was ugly,” Johnson said. “What I try to tell the girls is every team is going to come at us like that. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot and we’ve got to go from there. Once we settled down, we had a good quarter and a half. We played well.”
Rinnah Green paced Butler with 12 points, followed by Meghan Flowers and Renee Kennedy with seven each.
Mallard Creek 9 17 18 22 - 66
Butler 12 14 9 12 - 47
Mallard Creek – Emya Price 20, Janae Davis 10, Lawrence 9, Smith 8, Richardson 5, Sanders 5, Hines 3, Anderson 2, Hunter 2, Mitchell 2.
Butler – Rinnah Green 12, Flowers 7, Kennedy 7, Lewis 5, Sutton 5, Dixon 4, Thompson 4, Bryant 3.