Wagner's Kiana Williams drives the ball upcourt during their District 27-6A girls basketball game with Steele at Wagner on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Williams led all scorers with 24 points to help Wagner beat Steele 68-51.
Jeff B. Flinn, mysanantonio.com, December 21, 2016
Kiana Williams scored 24 points as the Wagner Lady Thunderbirds ran their record to 13-2 with a convincing 68-51 win in their 27-6A opener over the Steele Lady Knights.
Williams scored 10 of Wagner’s 20 first-quarter points in staking the Thunderbirds to an eight-point lead entering the second period of play. With a 14-3 run gave Wagner a 39-20 lead that was never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
“We came in with a game plan of making sure we stayed focused and playing one possession at a time,” first-year Wagner head coach Jeff Ogden said after the Dec. 16 win. “We wanted to limit their transition buckets, and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
Wagner (13-2, 1-0 in 27-6A) closed the first quarter on a 6-1 run. Williams hit two baskets — one driving the length of the court for a layup, the other on an offensive rebound of her own missed shot — for the 20-12 lead.
“We wanted to make sure we put pressure on them early. We didn’t want to come out flat, so we had an emphasis of attacking them early, and we did a great job of that,” Ogden said.
The Thunderbirds turned up the pressure in the second quarter.
Williams then grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled one step and launched a full-court pass to a streaking teammate, who didn’t even have time to dribble before laying the ball off the glass and in.
“Kiana is a great leader,’ Ogden said. “She did some things in the game tonight without even telling me, and that’s what great leaders do. We ask her to lead off the court as well as on. She’s like an assistant coach out there.”
After trading baskets, Wagner was up 39-20 with 2:28 to play before half. Steele (15-5, 0-1) would get no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
“They made their push in the second half. Our girls were very poised and stayed in—the-moment,” Ogden said. “We called a time out, settled things down, made a few adjustments and won the game.
“Against a great team like Steele, you can’t give up. You have to coach to the end. If I let up on them, then I’m letting them down,” he added.
Wagner next travels to East Central for a 7 p.m. tip Wednesday before returning home Dec. 30 for a 1 p.m. tip-off against the New Braunfels Canyon Cougars.