HOLT – The Holt girls basketball program was off to an 8-1 start – its lone loss on the road to Division 1 No. 8-ranked East Lansing.
Holt boosted its resume again on Tuesday night, getting its ninth win with a 65-52 nonconference victory over Williamston. Chants afterward of "Tori coming" from the Rams' student section, referencing Holt first-year coach Tori Brooks, were abundant.
"It's fun, and the girls love when their friends are coming out to cheer them on," Brooks said. "It gives us a lot of energy. I've been welcomed with open arms since I came here and I love coaching here and the whole community. It means a lot."
Brooks got a big performance from sophomore guard Rhema Dozier on both ends of the court. Dozier was tasked with being the lead on-ball defender against a trio of quality guards from Williamston.
Dozier also scored 18 points – all of them coming from behind the three-point line, knocking down six triples, including three in the fourth quarter.
"I liked her intensity, she didn't give up at any point tonight," Brooks said. "They have a lot of great shooters we needed to close out on and I thought she led the way with her intensity and doing what she needed to do.
"Her shooting has been huge. Basketball's a team sport and there's going to be nights where people are cold. It's huge for her to step up and be confident and keep shooting. I stress it to her all the time to go out and be aggressive and she was tonight."
Holt (9-1) led by just three after the first quarter, but some stingy defense led to transition buckets and the Rams opened up a double-digit lead with a late second-quarter run.
From there, the Rams were able to maintain course and get another solid win. Junior forward Janae Tyler had 21 points, while junior Kaylin Howard had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"We were sharing the ball and getting good penetration and kick-outs," Brooks said. "It got everybody involved, and I think our defense really helped with our offense in getting big stops, giving us energy to come down and convert on the other end."
Holt returns to league play Thursday with a home tilt against Grand Ledge.
Senior guard Sammi Schultz led Williamston with 13 points, along with 12 points from junior guard Isabel Lindo.
The Hornets (8-5) will return to league play Thursday at Eastern.
Contact Nathaniel Bott at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Nathaniel_Bott.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Holt girls basketball adds to hot start with win over Williamston