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Third-period effort lifts Jags past Lady Sandcrabs of Port Lavaca
Floresville’s Caitlin Gillum goes up for a basket during the Jaguars’ 81-53 win over Port Lavaca to close out the district season.
FLORESVILLE --With just one game remaining in the regular season, the Floresville Jaguar basketball team went into its game with Port Lavaca Feb. 8 needing a win. Not only did they want to end the season on a high note, but needed the win to preserve the potential tie for second or third place in the district. The Hoop Troop played up to the occasion, though, and sealed the victory by the score of 81-53.
The Jags came out shooting and took an early 7-0 lead. The Lady Sandcrabs got back into the mix, though, and actually pulled ahead of Floresville 11-10 in the closing minutes of the first period. The Jags dropped in four free throws as time wound down, and led 14-11 after the first stanza was complete.
Floresville scored the first two baskets of the second period, but then looked on as Port Lavaca stormed back. Katie Moore broke the Lady Sandcrabs’ short run, and then Erica Hernandez and Caitlin Gillum added a few free throws to make it a 24-17 Jaguar lead. But just as they had done in the first period, the Lady Sandcrabs came back, and the game was soon tied at 27-all.
The Jags retook the lead with a shot from the charity stripe, but a basket from Port Lavaca gave the Lady Sandcrabs a 29-28 advantage. Jessica Castro dropped in a free throw to tie the game at 29-29, and Destiny Amaro drained a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give Floresville a 32-29 lead at the half.
Despite the lead, Floresville Head Coach Greg McWilliams was dissatisfied with his team’s first-half performance. While his method of halftime motivation remains a matter between him and his players, one thing remains clear -- it worked. The Jaguars returned to the court following the break and simply erupted in the second half.
In total, the Jaguars scored 34 third-period points, more than the team had scored throughout the entire first half. Hernandez and Moore got things going for Floresville, though seven different players scored during the eight-minute session. The Hoop Troop also stepped things up on defense, holding Port Lavaca to just 7 points during the third period. As the teams moved into the final stanza of the night, it was Floresville in clear control of the game, 66-36.
As the final period got under way, the Jags continued to apply pressure. Amaro drilled another 3-pointer to start things off, and Hernandez followed with another quick basket. With a healthy 73-39 lead, the Jaguars began to slow a bit, and looked to run down the clock. As the final buzzer sounded on the regular season, the Floresville Hoop Troop celebrated a hard-fought 81-53 victory.
Hernandez paced the Jags with 26 points, followed by Castro and Moore with 10 points each. Annielyn Felux scored 7 points, Amaro earned 6, Shelby Leinneweber scored 5, and Gillum dropped in another 4 points. Amanda Montoya, Liesel Raabe, and Lauren Milton each scored 3 points, and De Havalan Watts and Anna Aguilera each scored another 2.
The Jaguars finished the regular season in a tie for third place with Gregory-Portland. The teams elected to break the tie with a coin toss. Unfortunately for the Jags, Floresville lost the toss, and was set to enter the playoffs as the district’s fourth seed, while Gregory-Portland will be seeded third.
By virtue of their finish, the Jaguars were scheduled to face Kennedy High School, the District 29-4A champs, in the bi-district round of playoffs Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Alamo Heights.
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