The Dripping Springs Lady Tigers (22-12) flexed their muscles on senior night Friday in a 74-27 win over the McCallum Knights.
The win all but guarantees Dripping Springs at least a share of the 25-5A crown with the final game having been played Tuesday.
Among a plethora of honors for the six outgoing seniors was a tribute for senior Julia Graham, who has missed the entire season due to a torn ACL.
An emotional tribute was given early in the contest when she knocked down an uncontested layup, leading to a standing ovation from the crowd and from teammates and coaches.
“I just felt like we needed to do something to get her out there. She shows up at practice every single day at 6:45 in the morning. Anytime there’s a meeting and every game she has been here,” Lady Tiger head coach David Norris said. “She’s been a leader even though she’s not on the court playing. She’s led these girls through the season.”
Once the game got rolling, Dripping Springs jumped out to a commanding 22-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, thanks to 12 steals on defense, as well as dominant post play by Emily Kotrola who scored 10 points in the frame. Kotrola finished the game with 19 points, two rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
“I was just trying to play with my girls because it’s senior night,” said Kotrola. “I was just like in the moment, and it was just an adrenaline rush playing with them.”
Dripping Springs extended its lead to 44-14 by halftime with efficient offensive play in the paint, while only attempting a handful of shots from beyond the arc. Dripping Springs’ Kennedy Donovan and Caitlyn Brack filled up the stat sheet and were influential on the offenses flow, as Donovan posted six points, four assists and two steals, with Brack scoring four points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists.
“We’ve been working on some things to get the ball inside,” Norris said. “We have the posts that can score, but we just have to do something else when our threes aren’t falling. We’ve got to be able to do something else. We were really concentrating on getting the ball inside.”
The Lady Tiger pressure defense was a thorn in McCallum’s side as they caused 31 total turnovers in the game. Conversely, Dripping Springs committed only seven turnovers.
Dripping Springs had 22 total steals, with Grace Fowler and Stephanie Hartnett leading the way with four steals each.
“That’s part of what we do, we want to make them rush and hurry and make turnovers, so that’s what we try to
do,” said Norris.
Regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, Dripping Springs will secure the program’s first district title, whether shared or outright, in more than a decade.
“Even if we lose, we will be co-district champs,” Norris said. “We are going for out right because the last district championship was 06’ here for the girls, and it was co-champions, so we are going to remove that hopefully next week.”