First-year head coach Darrick Cox left the Batesville High School gymnasium Saturday night with a sense of relief.
Relieved that his first game as a head coach was behind him, but more importantly the Lady Bulldogs basketball team escaped with a 52-43 victory over the North Decatur Lady Chargers.
“Always happy with a win and hopefully we got some of the nerves out tonight,” Cox commented. “I thought we did some things really well, but there is still plenty to work on and areas we can improve.
“We need to get the girls to relax a little bit and finish plays ... our goal is to get better each day,” he added.
The Lady Bulldogs came out and handcuffed the Lady Chargers with an aggressive full court press and then transitioned into the same style in the half court.
Like most season openers, offense is sometimes inconsistent and sluggish. Batesville scored just six points through the first five minutes, but held a four point lead because of the scrappy defense.
Junior Brooke Bradford scored five unanswered points and Madi Oesterling hit a field goal in the final minute to give the Lady Bulldogs a 13-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same, but the scoring picked up. As both teams began to rack up fouls, trips to the free throw line became more frequent and points followed.
The Lady Bulldogs entered halftime with a comfortable 30-15 lead.
What looked like was going to be a relatively easy victory when the two teams headed to their locker rooms for halftime, quickly changed in the third quarter.
Whether it was tiring Batesville legs from the pace of the first half or adjustments made at halftime by North coach Brad Bryant and his staff, the Lady Chargers were much more successful in the second half.