by MOSES LEOS III
There was only one thought process that went through fans’ minds prior to Tuesday night’s bi-district round match-up between San Antonio Brackenridge and Hays. That thought was: something’s got to give.
On one side, you had Brackenridge, which entered the game winning 8 of their last 9, utilizing a powerful offensive attack that averages 60 points per contest. On the other, the Hays Lady Rebels, who won their final five games of the year, backed by a stifling defense that only allowed 35 points per game.
The Hays Lady Rebels defense would ultimately succumb to the prowess of Brackenridge. The Lady Eagles defeated Hays 61-35, eliminating the Lady Rebels from postseason, ending Hays’ 2012-2013 campaign.
Brackenridge began the contest by asserting their aggressiveness on the floor. Using a high-tempo style, Brack created matchup issues for the Rebels, which struggled to contain the intensity of the Lady Eagle players. With the aid of junior guard Breann Hernandez, who had a game-high 14 points, Brackenridge jumped to an 11-3 lead, 18-5 after the first quarter.
“We tried our best to stop (Brackenridge) from driving the lane early on. We tried our best to block out and gain the offensive and defensive rebounds,” said Lady Rebel junior post player Jordyne Duggar, who scored eight points on the night.
The Lady Rebels would perform better on defense in the second quarter, as the team held down Brackenridge’s offense by challenging them in the paint. A strong effort from Duggar and junior post Jill Borreson forced the Lady Eagles to shoot exclusively from the perimeter.
Hays took advantage, as the offense rolled with the momentum, rallying from a double-digit deficit to cut the Lady Eagle lead to 31-23 at halftime.
“At halftime, (Hays head coach Danny) Preuss told us that we were only down by four shots. We tried our best to work our way back into the ball game,” said Hays senior guard Lindsey McCurdy, who finished with a team-high 10 points.
The Lady Rebel offense would go ice cold to finish the game. The final 16 minutes of the contest saw the Lady Rebs only score twelve more points, as the team could not get the ball to fall into the cylinder.
Making matters worse, the Brackenridge defense began to make their mark in the contest. Brack’s high-tempo style of play constantly disrupted the Lady Rebel passing lanes, forcing Hays to attempt dangerous passes, with limited success.
“We felt that we should have been communicating more on the floor tonight. We did not do that as often as we should have,” said Duggar.
Hays would struggle on defense in the second half, as Brackenridge powered their way into the paint, posting up and drawing numerous fouls underneath the bucket. The Lady Eagles utilized the dominance in the interior to overwhelm the Lady Rebels late in the game, both from the floor and the free throw line. Helped out by senior guard Miranda Acuna’s 14 points, Brackenridge would outscore Hays 30-12 in the final two quarters, as the Lady Eagles would eventually cruise past Hays.
“We did not play good enough to win. Brackenridge looked the more polished team tonight,”said Preuss after the ball game. “We did not play strong in the first half. We were hoping to perform better in the second. However, we had more turnovers in this game than in any other contest this season. I believe we committed close to 30. When you commit that many turnovers, it is difficult to get a victory.”
With the loss, Hays concludes their 2012-2013 season with a 24-10 record and finishes as co-champions of District 27-4A.