Matadors smother Tigers 44-29

A 21-point second half from senior guard Cortlin Buchanan led the Seguin Matadors to a 44-29 victory over the Dripping Springs Lady Tigers Friday night in Tiger Gym.

In the first matchup between both teams in over five years, each program got off to a timid start as they tried to figure one another out.

Although poor outside shooting plagued the Tigers all night, Dripping Springs relied on its defense and were able to find occasional holes in the middle of Seguin’s 2-3 zone. That allowed Dripping Springs to take a 7-6 lead into the second frame.

Below, Tiger guard Madi North speeds by Lake Travis Cavalier guard Natalie Paxton during a tournament game played at Tiger Gym. Dripping Springs opened 26-5A play with a loss to Seguin at home last week. (photo by Moses Leos III)

Below, Tiger guard Madi North speeds by Lake Travis Cavalier guard Natalie Paxton during a tournament game played at Tiger Gym. Dripping Springs opened 26-5A play with a loss to Seguin at home last week. (photo by Moses Leos III)

In a back-and-forth second quarter, Dripping Spring’s offense lost both its rhythm and the lead, as Seguin took an 18-14 lead at halftime.

After shooting 20 percent from the field and trailing by only four points, Dripping Springs head coach Laura Joiner said her and her team were confident going into the third quarter.

However, this short-lived confidence proved moot as Buchanan went on a tear in the second half.

Buchanan scored 21 of the Matadors’ 26 second half points, including four three-pointers.

After Dripping Springs sophomore guard Julia Graham dropped 32 points on Kerrville-Tivy earlier in the week, Joiner said it was an eye-opening experience for her team to see an opposing player have a 30-point game of her own.

“From Tuesday to Friday, having two different type of feelings, it was like, ‘Man, my kid was going crazy knocking down shots,” said Joiner. “Then we turn around Friday and it’s happening to us. So for the first two games of district, it gave us a good idea of what we’re gonna face the rest of the way.”

Although Buchanan had “the game of her life,” Joiner said it was the Tigers’ lack of offensive production that was the reason for the loss.

Seguin played an active 2-3 zone, which Dripping Springs has not seen much of this season.

The combination of constant pressure on Tiger guards and major height disadvantages in the paint caused Dripping Springs to struggle to get open. Subsequently, Dripping Springs struggled to generate rhythm as well.

Joiner said everything she and her team had seen on tape showed Seguin using a press defense.

“When we saw them in a 2-3 zone instead of a press, we thought that was playing into our hands,” said Joiner. “Ironically, it was the opposite.”

The Tigers are a team that thrives on playing with speed, and their defense is built to create a lot of their offense. However, Seguin slowed the Tigers down, forcing Dripping Springs to play a half-court offense that seemed unnatural.

Although Joiner said the Tigers were well-prepared, she admits Seguin’s defensive switch took the Tigers out of their game plan.

“You gotta give them credit,” said Joiner. “I thought they played really well, however I do think if we shoot better there is a different result. We’ll get that fixed next time, I promise that.”

After splitting their first two district games, the Tigers have a 10-day break from competition.

After the holiday break they will have three days of practice before traveling to Lockhart to look to continue their unbeaten streak on the road.

Tipoff on Friday, Dec. 30 is set for 6 p.m. in Lockhart.

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