When the Natalia Varsity Mustangs took neighboring Devine down to the wire in a non-district battle there was plenty of hope for the boys in blue in un-tapped potential it appeared.
When the Varsity Mustangs hosted their home tournament, this senior laden squad showed plenty of positives, yet plenty of areas that needed improvement. The bottom line was, potential appeared.
Last week when the Natalia Mustangs closed out their regular season at home on Parents Night 2017 versus the Cole Cougars, something was at stake. For the first time since the early 1990s, the Stangs could finish district play winless.
In the opening quarter, the Mustangs had hope of upsetting the playoff bound boys from Ft. Sam Houston, as Javier Hernandez, Nathan Vasquez, Gabe Figueroa and Brandon Abercrombie knocked down buckets producing an eight-point effort for the boys in blue.
On the other end of the court, Jaelen Arnette scored seven of nineteen for the Cougars as Cole held an eleven-point edge after one.
Unfortunately, the gap between the two squads only grew for the remaining three quarters as Cole continued to take control.
In the 2nd quarter, Cole was able to out-score Natalia 11-6 en route to a 30-14 lead at the half.
The second half saw the Cougars out-score Natalia 14-9 in the 3rd quarter before watching the Stangs edge the Cougars 15-13 in the final quarter of play. As a result, the Cougars finished off the Mustangs 57-38 as the boys in blue finished the season 0-12 in 26-3A.
Scoring- Abercrombie 8, Hernandez 8, Figueroa 7, Miguel Loredo 7, Alex Valdez 4, Dustin Richardson 2, Vasquez 2.
A Look Back at the Season
At times the Mustang offense appeared to be a well-oiled machine as the boys in blue had no trouble finding the rim. Other times, the Stangs appeared to be out of context with their offense as turnovers and cold shooting plagued this senior laden ball club.
At times the defense played well, but others they had no answer for their opponent. It was just a chain of events that played into factor during this rocky, frustrating and confusing season full of what “could have beens”.
“This season was disappointing because of how well we started the year,” Coach Jeff Terry said. “We are graduating seven seniors, so we will be counting on younger players next season to step up and contribute.”
Bi-District Playoffs set for 3A-Region IV
The Cole Cougars were able to win 26-3A as the Karnes City Badgers finished in 2nd place. The Poth Pirates finished as the 3rd seed with Fox Tech winning the 4th and final spot in district.
On Press Night, Cole battled 25-3A 4th seed Florence, Karnes City battled 25-3A 3rd seed Comfort, Poth battled 25-3A 2nd seed Blanco and the Buffalos of Fox Tech Battled 25-3A Champion Johnson City in the Bi-District Playoffs.
By Eric Smith