by MOSES LEOS III
With a week remaining in the 2012-2013 Girls basketball season, teams are fighting tooth and nail to secure one of four coveted playoff positions.
For the Hays CISD high schools, playoff dreams are slowly coming to fruition. However, the need to keep the intensity during the waning moments of the regular season will be vital to both teams’ successes.
The Lehman Lady Lobos are 16-14 overall, and are sporting a 6-5 record and a two game win streak in District 27-4A. This would place the Lady Lobos in the fourth and final playoff spot if the postseason started today.
The seniority of the group has been the strong point, as the Lady Lobos have relied upon the experience of seniors Ashley Stephens, Karsholyn Brown and Ariana Gallegos to guide the group to big wins. None more so than on Jan. 25, which saw the team separate themselves from the middle of the pack with a 66-45 win over Seguin.
However, the Lady Lobos are not necessarily guaranteed a playoff berth quite yet. Boerne Champion is only one game behind Lehman in fifth place, with a 5-6 record, while Alamo Heights trails by two games at 4-7.
Only one scenario exists where Lehman could lose the remaining three contests of the season, yet still make the playoffs – if Champion loses all of their final three games, while Heights could win no more than one.
This means Lehman must win at least one of their final three games to keep their postseason hopes alive. Boerne Champion would then be forced to win two or more contests to tie or surpass Lehman; Heights would have to win three, plus have help to force a tie-breaker situation with the Lady Lobos.
For Lehman head coach Jamie Coy and her Lobos, just settling on one win will not suffice.
“We need to finish strong,” said Coy, who will be leading the Lobos against tough opposition over the next few games. Lehman closes out the year on the road against Kerrville Tivy, followed by the home finale against Lockhart on Friday, before travelling to play district leader Schertz Clemens on Feb. 5.
The road to playoff glory does not daunt the Lady Lobos, who are ready to face the challenge; none more so than Stephens.
“We’re ready to win,” said Stephens after the win over Seguin. “We’re ready to hold our playoff spot.”
Hays Lady Rebels
For the fifth straight season in a row, the third season under current Hays head coach Danny Preuss, the Hays Lady Rebels have clinched a spot in the UIL playoffs.
Strong guard play has been the backbone of the Lady Rebels’ success in 2012. Led by senior guard Lindsey McCurdey, Hays rattled off a big 64-39 upset of state-ranked Schertz Clemens last Friday.
Currently, Hays, 22-8 for the season and 8-3 in district , is tied for second place in district with Kerrville Tivy, which also has an 8-3 district record. However, if the season ended today, Hays would fall to the third playoff spot, as Tivy holds the tiebreak.
In terms of playoff seeding, the opportunities are wide open for the Lady Rebels. Hays could take second seed if they win two or all three remaining games of the year, plus have Kerrville Tivy lose a game.
Should the Lady Rebels win their remaining regular season games, then have Schertz Clemens lose one, Hays would clinch the district championship and the first seed.
However this playoff seeding race transpires, the Lady Rebels’ ultimate goal is to prepare for a lengthy postseason run. Hays will be looking to advance beyond the second round of the UIL Playoffs, which has been the stopping point for the program over the past two seasons.
“We’re trying to fine tune everything we do,” said Preuss, “to keep playing good Hays defense and execute on offense. If we do that, we have a pretty good shot (at going far).”
Hays begins their playoff preparation with two road games, against Seguin and Boerne Champion, then close the home schedule against Alamo Heights on Feb. 5.