The 2016-2017 basketball season came to an end in the Bi-District round of the playoffs for the Natalia Lady Mustangs. District 25-3A Champion Lago Vista proved to be the better team as their size, speed and offensive execution doomed the girls in blue.
“I felt we were a bit overwhelmed by the moment,” Coach Stephen Davis said. “Once we got over that, we played well, but could not overcome the deficit we created.”
The huge deficit was created with a rough 1st quarter as Lago Vista came out on fire, as #3 Schuartz scored thirteen of twenty-one first quarter points for the Lake Travis area squad.
When it came to the other end of the court, the Lady Mustangs struggled to find the basket as Gabby Reyes accounted for the only three points for Natalia.
In the 2nd quarter, Natalia found a rhythm offensively as Reyes was joined by Regina Garza and Gabby Garcia. The three seniors combined for a seventeen-point effort.
Unfortunately, Lago also accounted for a seventeen-point effort with eight of those coming from the free throw line. As a result, the Lady Vikings took a 38-20 lead into the half vs. Natalia.
At one point and time the girls in blue cut the deficit down to single digits in the 3rd quarter, but were unable to sustain the momentum as foul trouble set in. LV was able to edge Natalia in scoring as they took a 52-36 lead into the final quarter of play.
LV out-scored the Lady Mustangs 19-7 in the 4then route to a 71-43 victory over the Lady Mustangs.
“We were picked by most to finish 5th or 6th in 26-3A and we were able to snag 4th in a very competitive district,” Davis said. “We set a goal to build on last year’s success and make the playoffs again and we accomplished that goal.”
Scoring- Reyes 14, Garza 13, Garcia 10, Andrea Villarreal 6.
Natalia will say good-bye to five seniors
The Natalia Lady Mustangs will say good-bye to seniors Gabby Reyes, Regina Garza, Gabby Garcia, Celeste Perez and Andrea Villarreal.
“This senior class was a special group of girls who were able to adapt to a new head coach their senior year and flourish,” Davis said. “They did a great job for the team and our program.”
According to Davis, the Lady Mustangs will return six lettermen to the program next season including one starter.
“I believe we will be in a good position next year and we are excited about continuing to grow as a program,” Davis said.
3A Playoffs move into Regional Rounds
On press night, the following match-ups took place in Class 3A, Region IV Quarter-finals: 27-3A Champion Palacios battled 28-3A Champion Marion, Runner-up in 29-3A Goliad battled 3rd seed of 29-3A Skidmore-Tynan, 26-3A Champion Poth battled 25-3A Champion Lago Vista and 30-3A Champion San Diego battled 29-3A Champion Odem.
The regional tournament will be held this Friday and Saturday at Seguin High School in Seguin.
By Eric Smith