ULYSSES ‑ It was an unusual Tuesday night game in that neither school was back in session from the holiday break.
But it was business as usual for the Ulysses girls as they improved to 6-1 this season with a 47-28 win over visiting Lakin.
The Tigers used an 11-0 start to establish early dominance, taking a 15-4 lead at the first break, slowing up a bit in the second period to maintain a 24-10 edge at intermission.
Lakin outscored Ulysses 6-1 to open the third period, which was dominated by 15 combined turnovers, but a 10-0 start in the fourth propelled the Tigers to their sixth win.
Gina Ballesteros led Ulysses with 17 points, including a trio of treys and 6 of 7 from the line.
The Ulysses offense shot just under 50 percent from the floor (16 of 35) and the defense forced the Broncs into 25 turnovers.
The two-week-plus layoff was obvious, Ulysses coach Tim Hofferber said, but he was still pleased with his team’s effort.
“I was pretty pleased with our execution. At times, it was pretty high level,” he said. “As expected, a little fatigue and it gets a little ugly and fundamentals break down. But overall, I’m very pleased with this effort to come back and play an early game right after break.”
His first unit was pretty solid establishing the early lead, and the second string followed that with a good effort of its own, he added.
But when his team stopped scoring at will, Hofferber thought his girls got a bit complacent.
“I think we got a little satisfied with things, and I think we got a little greedy, too. It seemed like we tried to get a steal every time when really, we just needed to be more fundamental,” he said.
The way his team closed out the game also left Hofferber with a good feeling.
“I really challenged them pretty hard on the bench (before the fourth period),” Hofferber said. “We had to come out and re-establish control and assert themselves, identify who they are, their roles. I was pleased with that.”
His team has work to do, especially with Scott City coming to town Friday, he added, for an important Great West Activities Conference battle.
Lakin (1-6) got nine points each from Lizzy Webb and Jaya Esquibel. They are off until Jan. 12.