Stockdale, Nixon-Smiley split games
Wyatt Gabrysch (15) of Stockdale goes up for a shot as Nixon-Smiley’s Garrett Earlywine contests the shot from the floor. The Brahmas picked up a 55-46 win.
NIXON -- While Nixon-Smiley was looking for a clean sweep over the Stockdale basketball teams last Tuesday night, the rival schools eventually split games on the night. The Lady Mustangs defeated the Lady Brahmas 58-36, but the Brahma basketball team later knocked off the Mustangs, 55-46.
Both girls basketball teams held state rankings at different points during the season, and everyone knew it was going to be another great game when the two met in Nixon Jan. 15. The Lady Mustangs had won the first meeting of the season when the teams met back on Dec. 11. It was a close game, and Nixon-Smiley skipped town with a 52-47 victory. This time around, Stockdale was hoping to return the favor, and it looked like it might have been possible, at least early on.
An energetic high-paced game ensued from the opening tipoff, as the teams each found ways to score. The Lady Brahmas hung 12 on the board during the first eight minutes of play, but the Lady Mustangs held a narrow advantage with 14 first-period points.
The feverish pace continued into the second period of play, but Nixon-Smiley began to pull away. Stockdale had some missed opportunities, but the Lady Brahmas kept things close. Still, the Lady Mustangs extended their lead, and took a 31-23 lead into halftime.
The second half looked about the same for Nixon-Smiley, but the Lady Brahmas struggled to score. The team had some opportunities, and created some good looks for themselves, but the ball wasn’t falling well in the second half. The Lady Mustangs outscored the Lady Brahmas 10-6 in the third, and 17-7 in the fourth, eventually locking up the 58-36 win.
Savannah Martinez led Nixon-Smiley and all scorers on the night with 13 points, followed by teammates Alena Alvarez with 12 points, and Hailey Boatright and Megan Guerra with 11 points apiece. Sarah Holguin and Lashay Castro led the Stockdale effort with 10 points each.
With the ladies’ game in the books, the guys took the court and participated in a battle of their own. The Mustangs came out strong for the home crowd, outscoring the Brahmas by 2, and taking a 13-11 lead into the second period.
The rivalry between the schools remained apparent throughout the second stanza, as the teams remained tight. Stockdale edged Nixon-Smiley by a point during the period, though, and narrowed the gap to a single point. As the teams went to the locker rooms, it was Nixon-Smiley with a 25-24 lead over Stockdale.
When the teams came back for the second half of play, Stockdale immediately rose to the occasion. The Brahmas held the Mustangs to just 9 third-period points, while dropping in 15 of their own. The Brahmas surged ahead of the Mustangs by the end of the third, taking a 39-34 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
The Mustangs picked up the pace in the final period, scoring a total of 12 points. Unfortunately for Nixon-Smiley, the Brahmas had their biggest scoring period of the game, racking up another 16 points en route to a 55-46 win.
Josh Vela led the Brahmas with 16 points, while teammate Tristan Marquez dropped in another 11. On the other end of the floor, Nixon-Smiley’s Garrett Earlywine led all scorers with 20 points, while Mustang teammate Samuel Moore added 11.
There are still a number of district games remaining for each team, but a playoff picture is beginning to form. The Lady Mustangs are on the cusp of earning a playoff position, but need to finish the season strong. The Lady Brahmas may have played themselves out of playoff contention, though anything could happen. They would need to win out to have a chance.
On the guys’ side of things, Stockdale appears to be in control of its own destiny, and is looking good atop the standings. Nixon-Smiley is on the edge of the window, but still has time to lock up a spot in the postseason.