Jourdanton outlasts Lady Mustangs

Sam Stallworth drives to the basket.

Missed free throws nearly sank both squads last Friday night in Atascosa County, as the two teams missed a combined 31 free throws. What was the determining factor was second chance points, as the Jourdanton Squaws had a slight edge when it came to overall size allowing for a rebounding advantage.
Natalia battled their tails off, but never led in a contest in which they came up short, 48-40 when the final buzzer sounded at JHS Gymnasium.
“I was proud of the way our kids competed for the entire 32 minutes,” Coach Doug Lum said. “We had some chances down the stretch, but we couldn’t convert.”
Natalia was slow out of the gate, as Vacca led the Squaws in the opening quarter scoring eight of their first twelve. For the Lady Mustangs, a huge factor was foul trouble, as their powerful post Zita Perez received her first foul with 7 seconds going off the clock in the 1st quarter. Others began to step up, as Jelli Padilla knocked down a pair of free throws, as Angie Zapata nailed a bucket resulting in an eight point deficit after one.
In the second quarter, Zita came back into the game and went to work to compliment Zapata and Padilla. The three combined for the majority of the points (Padilla 7), Perez (7), Zapata (4) as Sam Stallworth knocked down a 3-ball as well allowing Natalia to put forth a solid offensive effort.
Unfortunately, Jourdanton also had a solid quarter, as they scored 19 points allowing Big Red to take a 30-25 lead into the half. Munoz led efforts for J-Town in the quarter, scoring eight of the 19 points.
The dagger came in the third quarter when the Lady Mustangs only managed three total points offensively, which were credited to a Stallworth bucket and a Padilla free throw.
Luckily, Natalia played good defense holding Vacca to a pair of buckets in the quarter, which allowed Jourdanton to increase their lead slightly 35-28 going into the final quarter of play.
Down the stretch, Jourdanton was able to edge Natalia 13-12 in the final quarter of action resulting in a 48-40 victory for the home squad. Missed free throws as mentioned would haunt Natalia, as they missed 15 in the game including six in the 4th quarter alone.
“We are going to work on getting better every day,” Lum said.
Scoring Leaders: Padilla 13, Perez 12, Stallworth 7, Zapata 4.
Upcoming Games
On press night, Natalia was on the road in LaSalle County battling Cotulla in a crucial 30-3A battle to begin second round action. This Friday, Natalia travels even further down IH-35 to battle Laredo Harmony Academy.
On Tuesday, January 29th the Lady Mustangs host Dilley for a big battle with a ton of playoff implications at 6:30 p.m.
30-3A Standings as of press time: Jourdanton 5-0, Dilley 3-2, Natalia 2-3, Cotulla 2-2, Lytle 2-3, Harmony 0-4.
By Eric Smith