By: JOHN CANNON
(ALICE) – Prior to his team’s Class 5A Bi-District Playoff Game against Laredo Cigarroa, Donna High head girls basketball coach Kevin Kromer summed up what he thought could very well predict the outcome.
“The team that converts on their free-throws will win the game.”
Sure enough, one team took full advantage of free-throws and it just happened to play a huge factor in their win.
Unfortunately, that team that converted from the free-throw line was Laredo Cigarroa as they hit 20 of them throughout the entire contest which in turn led them to a 61-44 win on Tuesday night.
“Cigarroa did a good job of converting on their chances from the free-throw line and we didn’t,” said Kromer. “We missed a lot of free-throws tonight and if we could have made some of those, this could have been a completely different scenario.”
Speaking of free-throws, Donna High went 0-for-6 in the first quarter and found themselves down 13-0.
After a time out, the Bravettes finally started reverting to their game which was driving the ball to the hole which in turn helped them drop some shots and hit some key free-throws as well.
Aileen Garza got the spark started for Donna High as she hit the first bucket for her team which woke them up.
Then the Bravettes completely turned the tides as they outscored the Lady Toros 15-9 and cut the deficit to five going into the half.
Donna High continued to inch closer early in the third quarter as Melanie Arenas hit a lay-up which got them to within two at the 6:48 mark.
Georgina Benavides finally helped Cigarroa weather the storm as she hit two three-pointers in a row to help push their lead to 32-22 with 5:58 left in the third.
Donna High was able to inch back in the game as Garza’s three-point play cut the lead to 40-34 with 1:06 left in the quarter.
But that was as close as Donna High would get as Cigarroa outscored them 17-6 the rest of the way.
Garza, who played in her final game for the Bravettes, closed out her senior year by leading the team with 12 points on the night.
Garza said she was so proud of her teammates and the fight they put up against state ranked Cigarroa.
“This was an awesome feeling to play as tough as we could against such a good team,” said Garza. “We came out here with the mentality that we wanted to win the game and fought hard to try and do that.”
“And even though we didn’t get the outcome we wanted to, everyone still played hard. This has an amazing ride spending all four years playing for Donna High and is something I will never forget.”