PICKERING – The Lady Devils sit at 3-12 on the year but put together one of their best performances against Grand Lake.
Pickering kept it close but fell 57-47 to the Lady Hornets Thursday night at home.
"I feel like we played really well," Pickering head coach Morgan Spears said. "This was probably the first time that we really played as a team. We have improved so much since Day 1. People around here have told me that we are getting there. I know we are still really young and have a lot of growing to do, but I feel like we have done really well. It's the small details that we need to work on."
The Red Devils started all underclassmen in Thursday's matchup, including two eighth graders. Spears says her team has to work on the fundamentals to get them where they need to be.
"We've been preparing and preaching on the small things," she said. "That's basically what we've been working on. We've been working on learning the game of basketball. Our basketball IQs aren't super high, but tonight, we looked like a really solid team. We haven't really looked like that, especially against a team that is as good as Grand Lake.
"Tonight, we played good team ball and made good passes. They are growing and getting better every game."
Grand Lake took a 17-8 lead in the first quarter, and the Red Devils ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to make it 19-16.
Early in the second, Pickering guard Alexandria Dillon tied it up at 19 with a pair of free throws. However, the Lady Hornets went on an 11-2 run at the end of the second quarter to make it 40-28 at the break.
Pickering quickly pulled within 6 points to start the third, but Grand Lake always had an answer to keep the Lady Devils at bay to pick up the win.
Delylah Otero led Pickering with 11 points, and Yates added 10.
The Lady Devils found success in the paint with 32 of their 47 points coming in the paint.
"We're not a great shooting team, and I have three bigs that I want to get the ball to," Spears said. "It's very difficult for us to make some shots right now, but we're getting there. I want to play inside. I am prepared for our future and think it's very bright."
Spears is in her first year as a head coach after previously being an assistant coach at Singer.
"They are still learning the new program, and we're still learning things about each other," she said. "I really feel like they've bought into the program and what Coach (Donald) Parrott and I are doing. We work so well together. We have the same mindset on a lot of things. We only have three wins but we preach on the small victories. I think we had a lot of small victories tonight, and that's the things we have to look at.
"We're growing, and they know that. We really think we're going to be something someday."