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COTULLA UPENDS JOURDANTON, ROLL PAST EDNA TO CLAIM BI-DISTRICT AND AREA BASKETBALL TITLES AS PLAYOFF RUN REACHES THIRD ROUND
Cotulla has returned to the regional quarterfinals for the first time since the 2015-16 season following a 49-41 victory over Edna in the area playoffs Friday, February 17 in Beeville.
The Cowgirls earned their area playoff berth by upsetting state-ranked Jourdanton, 60-42, in the first round in Pearsall.
“I am very proud of our Cowgirls this season,” CHS Head Coach Randy Ramirez said. “We are peaking at the right time and have worked very hard to get to where we are.
“Each Cowgirl on this team plays a very important role to our team’s success. They have worked hard, worked together and have stayed humble all season long.”
“This playoff run has been very tough and exciting but despite everything, everyone on our team wants a win just as bad as everyone else,” Senior Allyse Leija said. “The team’s chemistry with each other is like no other and every win is always a team win.
“Coach Ramirez has everything drawn out for us and we are just executing at this point. It also means a lot with this being my senior year. We talk about proving others wrong, which I think is something we are doing very well at this point; also the hard work that we put in as a whole is incredible. My teammates, my coaches, and I all deserve to be where we are at because we all put in some type of work that makes this team successful.”
“I am very proud of this talented group of young ladies,” Sophomore Sedelia Wilson-Larkin said. “We work hard at every practice, pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves, which has been fueling us on this playoff run. I feel that our teamwork and selflessness is what will win us the championship.”
Wilson-Larkin led the Cowgirls in the area playoff win with 16 points while senior Miranda Gonzalez added 15 points. Leija was limited to seven points in the win but sparked the team’s third quarter run with constant drives to the basket and forcing fouls that put Edna in the bonus and Cotulla at the free throw line. The Cowgirls attempted 29 free throws, most of which came in the second half.
Cotulla led 9-8 after the first but trailed 13-10 in the second before going on an 11-2 run to close the half and lead 21-15 at the break.
Gonzalez fueled Cotulla’s third quarter run on a three-point play at the basket. It sparked a 9-0 run to open the third as the Cowgirls built a 30-15 lead with 4:22 to play in the period.
Wilson-Larkin also had three-point opportunity as she was fouled under the basket. She missed her free throw but picked up the rebound and went in for an easy layup, capping a four-point play.
Cotulla led by as many as 18 in the third but Edna closed the gap late in the stanza. They closed the third on an 11-4 run and kept it going in the fourth, pulling to within three with 5:44 remaining.
After being held scoreless for much of the fourth, the Cowgirls outscored Edna 11-6 down the stretch to hold on for the eight point, 49-41 victory.
Clutch free throw shooting down the stretch proved critical for Cotulla as Edna was forced to foul late.
Cotulla, 23-8, advances to the regional quarterfinals with the win. It marks the Cowgirls first trip back since the 2015-16 team lost in the same round to Odem. The team took on district rival Lytle Tuesday evening, February 21 in Seguin for the right to move on to the state quarterfinal round.
Lytle, 10-0 winners of District 28-3A, have topped Cotulla twice this season, winning 61-50 and 80-65 in league play.
The Lady Pirates, ranked 22nd in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 3A poll, crushed Karnes City 87-30 at bi-district and Hallettsville 85-68 at area to force this week’s clash with Cotulla. The winner will return to Seguin on Friday to take on the Rio Hondo-Goliad winner at 6 p.m.