Lady Lions face rocky second round
By LPR Staff
As basketball season winds to a close, the Lady Lions prepare to bid farewell to a season filled with tough fights and solid growth, but marked by disappointment.
Although coaches credit the team with strong play throughout the season the Lady Lions seem unable to break through an invisible wall that keeps the team fro
m picking up a victory.
On Jan. 15, the Lady Lions closed the first round of district play against the Elgin Lady Wildcats. In the teams’ first meeting of the season, the Lady Lions were plagued by turnovers and gravity worked against them as their shots refused to fall.
The Lady Wildcats took advantage of Lockhart’s rocky start, going on a 12-point run before allowing the Lady Lions to score, and closing the first half of play at 30-13.
The second half was better for the Lady Lions, who picked up 35 points and held Elgin to 29. However, the first-half deficit was too large for Lockhart to bounce back from, and the Lady Lions fell 59-48.
Tory Hill led scoring with 13 points, followed closely by Cassie Schroeder and Alisha Officer, who each chipped in 11.
Four days later, on Jan. 19, the Lady Lions opened the second round of district play against the Hays Lady Rebels. Going in, the Lady Lions were ranked last in the district, with a 0-6 record.
“The record truly does not reflect how competitive we have been this year,” Coach Katina Flournoy-Walker said. “We are not just rolling over and letting teams beat us – we are a force to be reckoned with.”
Flournoy-Walker said the team needs to learn how to play all four quarters, and keep pushing at their opponents, even when they think they are out of steam.
The team did just that against the Lady Rebs.
The Lady Lions came out fighting, and stepped up a notch on defense, closing the half within striking distance, trailing 26-30.
After the halftime break, the Lady Lions were confident and primed for a victory, but fell victim to turnovers once again. Three critical errors allowed the Lady Rebels to capitalize and run away with a dogfight of a game, taking the Lady Lions down 75-48.
After taking a week off to recover from the Hays defeat, the Lady Lions returned to the home court at the Lions’ Den for a long-awaited rematch against the Lehman Lady Lobos. Earlier in the season, the teams faced off and the Lady Lobos edged Lockhart for the victory.
The Lady Lions were on fire the first half, offensively and defensively. However, early foul trouble caused coaches to bench usual scoring leaders Hill, Officer and Isis Johnson.
Regardless, the Lady Lions were able to sink both inside and outside shots while keeping Lehman outside the paint. The Lady Lions took a 37-27 lead into the locker room at the break.
In the second half, Lehman turned up the heat and tied up the game, sending play into overtime and eventually sealing a 72-69 win.
“We played from beginning to end,” Flournoy-Walker said. “There were some unfortunate circumstances that just did not go our way.”
The Lady Lions were 16-35 from the free-throw line.
Despite sitting out early, Officer led team scoring with 21 points. Johnson was close behind with 16, and she pulled down 15 rebounds. Hill chipped in 14 points of her own.
On Jan. 29, the Lady Lions traveled to Manor to face the Lady Mustangs, and struggled from the moment they hit the floor.
“We got off to a very slow start,” Flournoy-Walker said. “It seemed as if we were not all there… all we did the entire game was try to climb out of it.”
The climb started in the first quarter, when the Lady Mustangs jumped out to a big 24-6 lead. Although the Lady Lions outscored Manor in the second period, they couldn’t bridge the gap, and closed the half behind 30-22.
“We ran out of steam, or just did not get revved up to get going,” Flournoy-Walker said.
Once again, turnover trouble haunted the Lady Lions, who eventually closed the game with a 67-48 loss. Hill and Desi Winn each contributed 14 points.
The Lady Lions will travel to Del Valle on Friday night to face the Lady Cards, and close the season at home, with a special Senior Night program, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, as they face the Elgin Lady Wildcats. Tip-off for both games is slated at 7 p.m.