When the going got tough Friday at Bales Gym, the Hays Rebels turned to senior Gabby Bosquez.
Thirty-three points scored by Bosquez, 20 of which were tallied in the final two quarters, aided Hays in a 43-37 come-from-behind win over the rival Lehman Lobos.
Bosquez’s presence was felt in the third frame when she ushered a 14-0 Rebel scoring run that encompassed roughly seven minutes. The run helped Hays turn a two point halftime deficit into a 31-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Danny Preuss, Hays head girls basketball coach, said focusing on a strong press defense “rattled” consistent Lobo shooters to start the second half. Keeping Lehman’s offense from attacking the paint also kept the Lobos off-balance.
For Bosquez, overcoming shooting woes in the first half paved the way for success.
Bosquez said a much more aggressive approach on offense paid dividends. Driving to the lane and getting to the foul line helped Hays rally.
“It’s learning from how you play and what’s going for you and what’s not,” Bosquez said. “When the shots aren’t falling, attack.”
Hays built its lead to as large as 35-24 in the fourth frame before the Lobos fought back.
Led by freshman Kayla Presley and senior Zakya Jarden, Lehman cut the Rebel lead to 39-37 with 64 seconds left in the game.
James Halatin, Lobo head basketball coach, said despite a few youthful mistakes, Presley is starting to see the game more clearly. Presley finished by scoring a team high 16 points, which included knocking down four three pointers.
“She’s starting to look for her shot,” Halatin said. “ She also understands she doesn’t need to facilitate all the time. She’s got a scorer mentality.”
But the Lobos were unable to close the gap in the final minutes of the game. Halatin said struggles in securing rebounds in the final minutes allowed Hays to extend possessions and widen the lead.
Despite the loss, Halatin lauded his players aggressiveness for the majority of the contest. Lehman’s aggressive style of play early on gave them a 21-19 advantage at intermission, along with an 11-10 advantage in rebounding.
“They believe they can play anyone close in this district,” Halatin said. “It’s just we can’t go through these spells of three or four minutes. That’s how they were able to get seperation that we’re constantly fighting behind. We can’t give teams ten points in the middle of the game.”
Preuss said Friday’s game was the most aggressive his team has played all season. However, obtaining the win was “big,” as it gives Hays a chance to catch up in a wide-open district.
“Overall, it’s a district game and it means a lot,” Bosquez said. “In other district games, we played well. Since we haven’t been winning, this set a stone for us and motivates us for the next game.”
The Lady Lobos take on Westlake on Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Lehman High School. The Lady Rebels take on Vista Ridge Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at Hays High School.