By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigerettes had an interesting week, culminating in a nerve-shattering 39-38 win against the Tulia Lady Hornets Jan. 5 before dropping a 42-69 game against the Childress Lady Cats Friday (Jan. 8).
Head Coach Tiffany Potts said the Tulia game was a bit of a struggle, but was proud of how the team came back to win. “For the Tulia game, we were down two of our post players going into that game so we had to make adjustments and go with a smaller line up than usual,” she said. “It took us a little while to adjust but the kids got the stops we needed in the fourth quarter to give us a chance to win.”
In the game, lead scorer was Mary Jo Parker with 15 points.
Also scoring were Sam Gatica with nine points, Payton Potts with eight, Justyne Zapata with three and T’Alice Young and Layni Claborn with two each.
Payton Potts however was vital for the team’s success – she scored the game winning point after being fouled with one second to go in a tied game.
“Payton was fouled on the lay-up and went to the line with one second on the clock and a chance to win the game. She hit the second freethrow. It was a great team effort to find a way to win at the end that every player contributed in,” she said.
The win still however was a team effort, especially being down several points with a minute to go. “With 41 seconds, we were down three points. Payton hit one freethrow to put us down two and we had to have a defensive stop,” Potts said.
“Emma Muniz did a fantastic job getting a deflection when Tulia tried to throw the ball in bounds, knocked it lose, and Payton was able to pick up the loose ball and get the assist to Samantha Gatica for two quick points on the block to tie the game up.
“We got the stop we needed again on the defensive end and regained possession with 2.7 seconds on the clock with the score tied,” Coach Potts added. “We opted to run a full court play to give ourselves a chance to win the game instead of going to overtime. Justyne Zapata executed the play perfectly and put the ball in the front court for Payton to go get and shoot a lay-up.”
In the team’s loss against the Lady Bobcats, top scorer was Parker with 24 points. Also scoring were Payton
Potts and Andrea Moreno with six each, Gatica with four points, Clarissa Perales with three and Natali Soto with two.
Coach Potts said however the score didn’t really tell the whole story how the team actually played.
“At Childress, the girls did a fantastic job executing the game plan. Childress shot the ball exceptionally well from the three point line throughout the game and we struggled to stop the outside game,” she said. “Mary Jo Parker did a phenomenal job stepping up offensively in the Childress game and was able to knock down shots with contact that she had been struggling with. Andrea Moreno recorded a personal and team best 10 blocks for the night, making it tough for Childress to score in the paint.”
Although the girls have had their ups and downs in the win/loss column, Coach Potts said the team has been making improvements daily to sneak into a playoff spot.
“The District is tough every single night. In the past three weeks, we have seen players step up and make more of an impact on both ends of the floor. Instead of relying on two people to score, we have started to have five to six players consistently contributing on the offensive end.
The Tigerettes played the Lady Mustangs Jan. 12. The team then will play the Idalou Lady Kats Friday (Jan. 15).
Potts said they are looking forward to two tough games against the teams.
“We have two tough games this week with Shallowater and Idalou coming to Slaton. Shallowater is currently ranked first and Idalou second in the State. We have to limit mistakes against pressure defense and take care of the basketball,” she said.
Results of the game will be published in next week’s edition.