Lady Hornets bounced from playoffs by city’s No. 1 team
East Central battles Churchill during the area championship round of basketball playoffs.
SAN ANTONIO -- After a 1-point Valentine’s Day win over Stevens in the bi-district round of competition, the East Central Lady Hornet basketball team was feeling pretty good. Unfortunately for the Black and Gold, that all changed on Friday night, as Churchill, the city’s No. 1-ranked team, knocked the Lady Hornets out of the playoffs with a 58-20 win.
During its bi-district matchup with Stevens, East Central found itself in a tight game that saw momentum swing back and forth throughout the night.
Stevens outshot East Central during the first period of play last Tuesday, and held a narrow 10-7 lead after the first eight minutes. The Lady Hornets came back strong in the second period, however, outscoring Stevens 17-13 to take a 1-point 24-23 lead into the locker room.
After the break, the two teams continued to stay with each other, though it was Stevens who went back on top, 40-39, at the end of the third stanza. With just one period left to play, both teams gave everything they had during those final minutes of the game. In the end, however, it was East Central with the advantage, outscoring Stevens 17-15 in the period, and taking the 56-55 victory.
After a little time to savor the win, the Lady Hornets went back to work preparing to face the Lady Chargers of Churchill. The two met at the Paul Taylor Fieldhouse on Feb. 17, and this game proved to be anything but close.
From the opening tipoff, it was clear that the level of competition for East Central had taken a dramatic jump. Churchill is the city’s No. 1-ranked team, and it was clear to see why.
The Lady Chargers took control of the game early on, and held the lead over East Central throughout the night. Churchill led 12-6 after the first period of play, and held a 28-9 advantage at the break. East Central made some adjustments at halftime and returned to score 8 points in the third period, but Churchill tacked on another 22 points in the third, and led East Central 50-17 heading into the final stanza. The Lady Chargers outscored the Lady Hornets 8-3 in the fourth, and advanced to the regional quarterfinals with a 58-20 win.
The loss ended the season for the Lady Hornets, but the team had a good year. East Central finished with a season mark of 19-16, and went 5-5 through the district. The team qualified for the playoffs, and picked up a bi-district victory en route to an area championship appearance.
Junior Azaria Nave led the team this season with 600 points, an average of more than 17 points per game. Senior Shaun Cherry averaged more than 16 points per game during the year, and junior Kayla White was good for nearly 13 points per game on average. While several seniors will be missing from next season’s roster, the team has a wealth of talent returning, and should be fun to watch.