By Jim Irish
Keyaira Washington is the future of Cedar Creek girls basketball.
Washington, a nearly 6-foot freshman with a wingspan of 6-foot-2, introduced herself to local fans at the crosstown rivalry contest against Bastrop in a lopsided 74-34 victory at the Bears gym Tuesday.
In the District 25-5A opener, Washington displayed her talent, scoring a game-high 30 points on 14-of-20 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds for a double-double. But it didn’t end there. She also had three blocks, five steals, and only one turnover. She has the ballhandling skills to take the ball up court, even in traffic.
"It's always great to start district with a win."
-- Cedar Creek coach Erica Cray
In the first quarter, Washington was so dominant that she scored 16 consecutive points as Cedar Creek charged to a 25-2 lead. Many of those points came off the full-court press in which Washington grabbed the inbounds pass with her long wingspan and put it in close to the basket.
“She has great anticipation,” Cedar Creek coach Erica Cray said about Washington, who plays AAU basketball with Competitive Edge in north Austin.
Washington didn’t show any rust despite missing the previous 11 games under concussion protocol after being undercut driving to the basket and hitting her head on the floor against Navarro.
Washington isn’t Cedar Creek’s only weapon. Alexa McDonald, a 5-9 senior, scored 29 points along with seven rebounds and three steals.
Mackenzie Collins, a 5-11 sophomore, added nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals.
Cedar Creek (9-6) has now won more games this season than the past two combined.
“It’s always great to start the (district) season (with a win),” Cray saId. “I’m happy. They still executed on some stuff. We had moments of breaking apart.”
Bastrop played more aggressively in the second quarter after Cedar Creek pulled its full-court press. The Bears trimmed the margin to 39-17 at halftime.
Deanna Rodriguez led Bastrop with nine points.
"We're gonna take some hits, but my goal is to improve each time out."
-- Bastrop coach Pat Roberts
Bastrop coach Pat Roberts said in order to break the press, his players can’t continue to dribble into the corners where a double team awaits them.
“We worked on (the press),” Roberts said. “In practice, we can go against pressure, but we can’t seem to translate to the game quite yet."
Bastrop has lost nine consecutive games after winning its season opener.
“We’re gonna take some hits, but my goal is to improve each time out,” Roberts said.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer living in Bastrop, Texas