Cowgirls wild playoff ride ends at regional quarterfinals
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COTULLA COWGIRLS BASKETBALL
LYTLE OUTSCORES COTULLA 25-8 IN SECOND TO RALLY FOR 69-59 VICTORY
A second period surge by Lytle proved to be the difference in the game as the Lady Pirates held off a late Cotulla rally to end the Cowgirls’ basketball season with 69-59 decision in the regional quarterfinals at Seguin last week.
Lytle would go on to lose a three-point decision to Columbus in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, February 25 in Seguin.
“Coming this far was something we strived for since the beginning of the season,” Senior Allyse Leija said of the Cowgirls’ season. “We knew that with the talent and mindset we had as a team that we were going to get our playoff run.
“Of course, we wanted to go farther but it still felt good to go three rounds deep into the playoffs especially after stopping after two rounds last year.”
Cotulla faced Lytle for a third time this season as the Lady Pirates topped the Cowgirls twice in league play to claim the district title.
“We got off to a great start, my team came out fired up because we knew our opponents wanted the win just as bad as we did. Towards the middle and end of the game I feel like we didn’t execute as much as we did in the beginning, but that happens in an very intense game,” Leija said. “We had a little rally towards the end of the game but we came back a little too late to try and get back with them.
“Even though the game didn’t go our way I know my teammates, my coaches and I left everything we had on that court.”
“I feel very proud and accomplished that my team and I made it to the third round,” Senior forward Miranda Gonzalez said. “We gave it our all on the court every single day this season, we deserved to get this far in the playoffs.
“It took discipline and determination. We walked into that gym with great mindsets and started the game off strong. Although we couldn’t finish the game off the way we wanted to, we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished this season.”
Senior center Alinna Botello echoed her teammates sentiments about the team’s accomplishments this season but says she enjoyed every moment.
“I felt super proud to have made it to Round three and further than last year,” Botello said. “I’m proud to be a part of a talented team with great coaches. The loss at the regional quarterfinals was a tough one as a senior knowing that it was the last time out on the court with my teammates.
“Nevertheless, I will forever be grateful to Coach Ram (Randy Ramirez) for believing in me and pushing me to my greatest limits.”
Cotulla got off to a great start in the regional quarterfinal contest, jumping out to a 21-16 first period lead.
Things turned in the second, however, as Lytle stormed back behind their strong offensive attack. Lytle outscored Cotulla 25-8 in the second to take a 41-29 lead at the break. They then extended the margin to 58-42 in the third after outpointing the Cowgirls 17-13 in the third.
Cotulla rallied late, outscoring Lytle 17-11 in the fourth but could not make up enough ground in falling by ten points.
Sophomore center Sedelia Wilson-Larking had a huge night for Cotulla, scoring 28 points to lead all scorers. She had 19 of her 28 points in the second half. Leija added nine points but was only able to get to the free throw line twice in the contest and was saddled with three fouls.
Foul trouble was a running theme for the Cowgirls as Jasmine De La Garza and Botello also had a combined eight fouls and the officials called a tight game.
Gonzalez also finished with nine points while Botello added five points. De La Garza also had four points for Cotulla.
The Cowgirls close out their year with a 23-9 mark and bi-district and area championships. The team are also regional quarterfinalists for the first time since 2016.