Michelle Obach orchestrated Bishop Gorman’s rise up the Tyler girls basketball hierarchy, scoring a game-high 25 points to lead the Lady Crusaders past John Tyler 65-48 on Monday at the Lions Den.
Obach sparked the TAPPS title contenders to the convincing victory over a Class 4A program coming off a 24-win season last year, one of the triumphs over Gorman.
The Lady Crusaders, ranked No. 7 among large private schools in the TABC preseason poll, improved to 3-0. The Gorman girls advanced to the state semifinals last year under head coach Katie Robertson.
“It’s huge,” Robertson said of the win.
“We wanted to see some tough competition so we’re prepared for state. That was a big step to beat John Tyler. They didn’t come out scared. They came out like they could win the game.”
The Lady Crusaders led from wire-to-wire, and by as many as 19 points.
Gorman gave JT fits from the opening tip, going on a 14-0 run to start the contest. Obach scored off a steal and drive to the bucket, and found Susanna Williams (18 points) inside before sinking a trey to make it 9-0.
Williams went inside for another bucket, then spotted Brooke Lee (7 points, 4 assists) for a 3-pointer to make it a 14-point game.
JT (1-1) tallied the next nine points, but never pulled closer than five. Gorman needed less than five minutes to get the lead up to 15 points (26-11), with Obach finishing off an 8-0 spurt with a mid-range jumper off a JT turnover.
“I just reminded the girls we’re upperclassman and to play like upperclassmen,” said Robertson, who started a pair of seniors and three juniors. “As soon as we stepped on the court I wanted them to take control of the game and set the tempo defensively and offensively.”
The outcome hung in the balance when Amia Wickware (13 points) lobbed an outlet pass to Tiaka Lee to cut the Gorman advantage to 46-36 with 5:36 remaining. Gorman netted 15 of the next 20 points to go on top 60-41, with Williams’ three-point play all but icing the victory.
Gorman stifled JT with a variety of defensive presses, holding the Lady Lions to a 31-percent shooting effort. Gorman scored 11 points off turnovers and outscored JT 26-16 inside the paint.
The Lady Crusaders canned 27 of 35 foul shots (77 percent) on the night.
Lee paced JT with 15 points and four assists.
Wickware followed with 13 points. Nola Jackson finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Lady Lions.
“I think it was our experience,” Robertson said. “We know we have to play smart basketball to be successful. John Tyler’s so quick that we didn’t want to get caught up in that game to where we make turnovers and lose control of the game.”
JT plays at Mount Pleasant on Friday.
Bishop Gorman 65, John Tyler 48
Gorman 14 14 17 20— 65
John Tyler 7 13 12 16— 48
GORMAN — Brooke Lee, 7; Allie Buzbee, 3; Michelle Obach, 25; Mandie VanderVorste, 0; Susannah Williams, 18; Danielle Smith, 4; Courtney Ferge, 8. FG 18-43 FT 27-35.
JOHN TYLER — Ashtyn Beal, 0; Tiaka Lee, 15; Tameal Jones, 7; Quaneshia Johnson, 2; KeyAna Tatum, 0; Amia Wickware, 13; Nola Jackson, 9; Jasmine Hill, 0; Kayla Webb, 2. FG 17-55 FT 10-13.
Three-Point Goals - BG: 2-10 (Lee, Obach); JT: 4-15 (Lee, Jones, Wickware, Jackson). Rebounds-BG: 35 (Smith 14); JT: 29 (Beal, Jackson 7). Assists: BG: 9 (Lee, Obach 4); JT: 9 (Lee 4). Turnovers - BG: 23; JT: 24. Total Fouls - BG: 13; JT: 20. Technicals - JT: Mike Smith (head coach).
RECORDS — Gorman 3-0; John Tyler 1-1.
NEXT UP — Bishop Gorman at Dallas Lutheran, 6 p.m., Friday; John Tyler at Mount Pleasant, 7 p.m., Friday.