In their last games before sectional play begins, the Homestead and Leo girls teams had quite different feelings leaving the locker room. The Spartans walked out with smiles and laughter being shared between each other.
The Lions on the other hand, they walked out happy to know they have three days of practice before their first sectional game.
The different moods came after 4A No. 15 Homestead (18-3) controlled the game the whole way in a 64-37 victory over Leo (17-4) last night.
“It's always good to win right before sectionals,” Homestead head coach Rod Parker said. “It's good to come on the road and play a quality team that has 17 wins and get out of here with a double figure win, so I'm really happy with that.”
Homestead's strong play started from the beginning. The Spartans held Leo to two points in the first quarter, never trailed and held a double-digit lead from the 3:03 mark of the second quarter on.
“Our defense was good and that allowed us to stretch things out a little bit and put some pressure on them and make them play from behind, which they aren't used to doing,” Parker said.
This lead was in large part do to the only non-freshmen or sophomore to play for the Spartans. Junior Sydney Buck found her shooting stroke early in the game as she put up 25 points, including 16 in the first half to outscore the entire Leo team single-handedly.
“My teammates, their screens were pretty good to get me open,” Buck, who hit six 3-pointers in the game, said. “(Leo) was face-guarding me pretty well, so that helped me to get open, and I just tried to knock it down.”
As positive as Buck and Homestead's game was, Leo has plenty of room to find things to work on. Routinely, Homestead's press and quickness flustered the Lions, causing turnovers and contested shots.
“We have to shake it off,” Leo head coach Carrie Shappell said. “We talked about trying to get better tonight, and there are some things we definitely didn't get better at, and we have to do it now in practice.”
Shappell and the Lions have three days to work before their game against 3A No. 13 and defending state champion Concordia Tuesday. Shappell is hopeful her seniors get her team refocused and ready.
“We (coaches) have to prep them, obviously, with a gameplan and a strategy, but I think my seniors have to step-up now, and I have faith in them to step-up and get everybody ready emotionally,” Shappell said. “The thing is, this year has been (the seniors) team and they have to decide how far they want to go and the run we want to make.”
HOMESTEAD 64, LEO 37
Homestead 14 14 19 17 — 64
Leo 2 10 11 14 — 37
Homestead: Sydney Buck 25, Fisher 9, Savannah Buck 9, Kistler 9, German 9, Weaver 3
Leo: Adams 2, Beer 2, Seiss 12, Gary 19, Lindsey 1, Wills 1