Another night, another dominant victory for the Villa Rica High School girls' basketball team.
Boosted by a 25-point, eight-rebound performance from junior forward Deasia Merrill, the Lady Cats cruised past visiting Kell on Tuesday with a 73-42 rout to notch their third Region 7-AAAAA victory of the season.
"I'm very proud of our total team effort," first-year VR head coach Tammy Norred said. "I felt like we really got after it defensively and were going after loose balls. We had a lot of subs step up coming in and out of the rotation. Just very proud."
The No. 8 Lady Wildcats (5-0, 3-0 Region 7-AAAAA) came out aggressive on both ends of the court from the opening tip, applying pressure to Kell (2-3, 1-1) with a full-court trap defensively while pushing the tempo with their fast-break offense.
Taking a 21-13 lead into the second quarter, VR started to lay the hammer down on the visiting Lady Longhorns. Powered by big quarters from the aforementioned Merrill and point guard Kyndal Coleman, the Lady Cats opened the second on a 14-0 run, eventually taking a 42-23 lead into the locker room.
From the third quarter on, Villa Rica continued its dominance as Norred was able to empty out her entire bench and cruise to the 31-point region victory.
"I can't say enough about the ones that came off the bench," Norred said. "Even late in the game against Kell's starting five, they did a great job at keeping their composure. As a coach, it's really encouraging to see the young ones be able to come in and not only maintain, but build on the lead."
Following Merrill in scoring was senior Emmy Parham, who delivered 10 points, four assists and three rebounds in the winning effort. Norred was also proud of the way her players handled getting a completely different look defensively by a region foe.
"This was the first team that really played us in a man-to-man, so it was definitely good practice for us for later on," Norred said.
It couldn't be stressed enough how important it was for the Lady Cats to get off to a fast start in region play. Still undefeated, they hope that this wave of early-season momentum continues heading toward the holiday tournament slate.
"Getting these wins puts us in a position to be successful toward the end, so hopefully we'll be able to do this night-in and night-out consistently," Norred said.
Villa Rica will be back in action at home this Friday at 6 p.m. when it plays host to Hiram.