By Melissa McCaghren
The Slaton Tigerettes hit a slight bump in their quest for the fourth spot in playoffs this past week, splitting their games with a loss to Roosevelt 29-30 and then a win against Tulia 42-38.
The girls are still in the running for a playoff spot, but Head Coach Tiffany Potts said it is determined now on the next couple of games. “We need to get a win this week to hopefully force a tie with Abernathy for a play in game,” she said. “It’s important we take care of our own destiny.”
The battle against the Lady Eagles was fought down to the literal last second, said Potts.
“In the Roosevelt game, we got off to a great start and built a good lead. Roosevelt came out and shot the ball much better in the second half and made it hard for us to score in the paint,” she said. “Our last 12 possessions ended with five turnovers and five missed three point shots. We did not manage the game very well and Roosevelt came back to win the game on an offensive rebound from the free throw line with under 20 seconds to play.
“We have talked all season about how rebound and turnovers will cost you a game and that happened to us. Roosevelt never quit and found a way to win.”
In the game, lead scorer was Justyne Zapata with nine points. Other top scorers were Andrea Moreno with seven points, Mary Jo Parker with six points, Payton Potts with three points and Sam Gatica and Chloe Griffith with two points each.
“Post play was big in this game, drawing the attention of Roosevelt’s defense,” she said adding that Zapata and Moreno made half the points for the night. “They were also our leading rebounders with Moreno pulling down 10 and Zapata having six.”
In the game against the Lady Hornets, Potts said the Tigerettes had another strong showing, only this time they pulled off the win.
“We got into some foul trouble early with a few starters and so some of our bench players had to step up and play some big minutes for us in the first half. We got down five in the fourth quarter and had some huge defensive stops and big shots to tie the game at 39 with under one minute to play,” she said.
“After Tulia missed three free throws in a row with 18 seconds on the clock, we were able to get the ball to half court and call a time out.”
She said this time the team found the way to win through passing the ball in.
“The girls did a fantastic job executing the sideline play and found Andrea Moreno at the top of the key where she knocked down a huge three pointer to win the game for us with three seconds left,” Potts added. “I was proud of Andrea-she had struggled with fouls and scoring most of the game but had the confidence and mentality to take the last shot and knock it down.”
During the Tulia game, lead scorer was Parker with 12 points. Also scoring were Natali Soto with 10, Potts with eight, Moreno with six, Zapata with four and Gatica with two.
“Natali had a fantastic game off the bench, scoring 10 points and coming up with five steals. Mary Jo shot 50 percent from the field for the night for 12 points, never coming out of the game,” said Potts. “Payton had eight points, seven rebounds and six deflections on the night for a good all around game.”
Now the team eyes this week’s games against the Childress Lady Cats and the Shallowater Fillies.
One win ensures they have a shot to play in for the fourth spot.
Potts said she was looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to earn a chance to be in playoffs.
“We finish out with two of the top three teams in the District,” she said. “I look forward to seeing the kids play tenacious defense and finishing out with the same effort they have shown all year.”
Scores from both games will be reported in next week’s edition.