Nixon-Smiley makes waves in playoffs
NIXON -- The Nixon-Smiley Lady Mustangs may have been the district’s fourth seed going into the playoffs, but when you come out of District 29-2A, fourth place doesn’t mean you don’t belong in the playoffs. The Lady Mustangs knocked off No. 1-seeded Blanco in a bi-district game, and then toppled Van Vleck to win the area championship and advance to regional play.
Blanco was the No. 1 seed out of District 27-2A, after making a perfect run through its district schedule. The Lady Panthers couldn’t get past the Lady Mustangs, though, as Nixon-Smiley’s second-half efforts delivered the win.
After a tight first period of play, the Lady Panthers held a slight lead at 15-13. Blanco then opened things up a bit in the second. The Lady Panthers outscored Nixon-Smiley 15-11, and took a 30-24 advantage into the locker room.
Whatever Lady Mustang Head Coach Jeff Van Auken told his team at halftime must have made a difference, as Nixon-Smiley dominated in the third period, scoring 14 points and holding Blanco to just 8. That effort left the two teams tied at 38-all, with just eight minutes left to play.
The Lady Mustangs did what they needed to do in the fourth, and pulled in front of Blanco. As the clock wound down to zero, it was Nixon-Smiley on top by 4, securing the 56-52 victory.
Alena Alvarez led the scoring effort with 13 points for Nixon-Smiley, followed by Savannah Martinez with 12 points and Brooke Hester with 10.
The win sent the Lady Mustangs to Edna, to compete against Van Vleck for the area championship. Nixon-Smiley was up for the challenge, though, and had no trouble picking up a 60-47 victory.
The Lady Mustangs played a great first period to secure a 13-9 lead, and then blew things open in the second with a 22-point scoring effort. As the teams headed into halftime, it was Nixon-Smiley with a 35-21 lead.
Van Vleck edged the Lady Mustangs by a point in terms of third-period scoring, but still trailed by 13 heading into the final stanza. Both teams hung 15 points on the board in the fourth period, and Nixon-Smiley easily secured the win.
Alvarez and Martinez once again led the way for the Lady Mustangs, as they scored 20 points and 19 points, respectively. Tyhana Mejia tacked on another 8.
The win put Nixon-Smiley into the region quarterfinals, but the Lady Mustangs were paired with Hallettsville, the state-ranked team that won District 29-2A. The teams were scheduled to play in Seguin Feb. 17, though results were unavailable as of press time.
Results and playoff information is available online at www.wilsoncountynews.com.