Sibling rivalry may exist between Plano’s Vann sisters, but it is nowhere in sight when they’re on the hardwood together.
MaKayli and MaKenzie Vann combined for 33 points and 25 rebounds to lift the Reapers to a 50-35 Interstate Eight victory over visiting Seneca on Monday night.
The Reapers enjoyed a 41-26 rebounding edge.
“A lot of our points come off of rebounds and transition or getting second-chance shots down there,” MaKayli Vann said. “I think a lot of rebounding has to do with my younger sister, MaKenzie. She is the smallest on the team, yet she gets the most rebounds. I think she encourages all of us to get in there and fight for the ball because she gets pretty beat up down there.”
Seneca (9-10, 3-4) actually led 19-16 midway through the second quarter, but the Reapers closed the quarter on a 10-0 run to take a 26-19 lead at halftime.
“We picked it up defensively a bit and extended our pressure,” Reapers coach John Chernick said. “We didn’t shoot super well early on and that comes and goes, but you can always play defense and I think from the middle of the second quarter on we only allowed 14 points.”
Seneca’s longtime coach Barb Beck, who is retiring at the end of the season, saw too many missed opportunities.
“We missed far too many good looks and we knew we’d be limited so we had to make them,” she said. “You’ve got to put the ball in the hole to win the ball game and we didn’t do it. We had breakaway layups, the ball in the post and we couldn’t make anything, and you can’t do that against a good team.”
The Plano defense not only limited the Lady Irish to shooting 28 percent (15-of-53) from the field, but also forced 22 turnovers.
“We started pressuring more outside the three-point line and that really helped,” Plano senior Bradi Gann said. “We started to get into passing lines and we picked up our rebounding. We didn’t give them many second chances after that.”
Plano (14-4, 7-0) surrendered a basket early in the third quarter, but responded with an 11-0 run to break the game open. MaKayli Vann (19 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four blocks), sparked the run with seven of the 11 points.
“To still be undefeated at this point in the season is a good spot to be in,” she said. “We’ve got the conference tournament coming up so we think we’re ready for that. We’ll see how it turns out.”
Besides the Vann sisters, Demetra Phylactos (five points) and Gann (four points) were the only other Plano players to score more than two points.
“This is a nice win for us,” Chernick said. “Anytime you can get Seneca, that’s a good win. Coach Beck does a great job and always has them prepared. We’re going to miss seeing her, but not going against her.”