Squeaker in Shiner
The Port Aransas High School Lady Marlins came within a hair of seeing their post-season come crashing to an end.
But the island girls stayed tough and pulled out the area championship with a 64-63 heart-stopper of a victory over the Shiner High School Lady Comanches on Friday, Feb. 15.
The win sent the Lady Marlins to a regional quarter-final match-up against the Moulton Bobkittens on the neutral basketball court of Port Lavaca High School on Tuesday, Feb. 19. (See story, this page.)
"We survived a Shiner team that played so much better than they did Tuesday night in their bi-district win over Brackett (high school), I cannot find the right word to describe it," said Randy Henderson, coach of the Lady Marlins. " 'Phenomenal' might be appropriate."
Henderson said he was proud of his team.
"We took Shiner's best shot and still came out victorious," the coach said.
A critical moment came at the game's very end.
Down 61-64, Shiner had the ball and called a time-out with 4.7 seconds left. Knowing that the Lady Comanches had to sink a three-point shot to have a chance of even tying the score, Henderson had his players line up along the three-point line to defend against a long shot.
Hassled by the Lady Marlins, a Shiner player threw up a shot that started beyond the three-point line but fell several feet short of the goal. One of the Lady Comanches picked up the ball and scored a two-pointer at the buzzer. It was a bucket, but not the kind Shiner needed, and the Lady Comanches fell in the area game for the second year in a row to the Lady Marlins.
Lady Marlin standouts included Lia Phillips, who "played like a returning all-region senior should play," Henderson said. "She was outstanding."
Once again, Elaine Franco led the Lady Marlins in steals and rebounding.
"She does so many little things well," Henderson said. "She also hit some huge free throws for us down the stretch."
Kathy Ashley and Sarah Pate scored some big three-point shots for the Lady Marlins. Emily Scott, Rachael Phillips and Rebecca Armanovs provided the team with a much-needed lift off the bench in the first half.
"Meredith Berry was solid defensively, and Hannah Jones came up with a huge offensive rebound for two points in the fourth quarter," Henderson said. "Katelin Dupnik had a nice all-around game, including going four for four from the foul line. She also had some good drives to the basket."
POINTS BY QUARTER
|PA||14 22 14||14||64|
INDIVIDUAL SCORING: L. PHILLIPS, 17 (THREE 3-POINTERS); ASHLEY, 10 (TWO -POINTERS); FRANCO, 10; R. PHILLIPS, 6; DUPNIK, 8; JONES, 4; ARMANOVS, 2; SCOTT, 4; PATE, 3 (ONE 3-POINTER).
REBOUNDS: SCOTT, 1; ASHLEY, 1; BERRY, 2; L. PHILLIPS, 3; ARMANOVS, 3; FRANCO, 6; JONES, 5; DUPNIK, 4.
ASSISTS: SCOTT, 1; ASHLEY, 2; BERRY, 1; L. PHILLIPS, 5; JONES, 1; DUPNIK, 1.
STEALS: SCOTT, 2; ASHLEY, 1; L. PHILLIPS, 4; ARMANOVS, 1; FRANCO, 6; JONES, 3; R. PHILLIPS, 1; DUPNIK, 3.