The Natalia Lady Mustangs tipped off the 2018-2019 season last week with hardwood action versus the Somerset Lady Bulldogs and the Nixon-Smiley Lady Mustangs. Natalia was able to split action, as they lost the opener before winning on the road last Saturday.
Somerset-Natalia had their opportunities early and often to keep this a close and respectful game, but unfortunately shots simply would not fall. Natalia also struggled a bit in the rebounding category, which led to too many easy baskets early on versus the 5A squad.
As a result, Somerset ran away with the game by a score of 59-16. Natalia was led in scoring by Mariah Joseph with 5, as Destiny Zapata was next in line with 3 points.
“Somerset was a very tough opponent to start the season,” Coach Doug Lum said. “I was happy with the way our kids competed, but we struggled a bit offensively and I feel there are positives to build off.”
Nixon-Smiley- Saturday was a battle of the Lady Stangs in Nixon and one Natalia would win.
“We came out with a lot of energy defensively on Saturday against Nixon,” Lum said. “We were able to finish some shots around the basket and it was a really good all-around team effort.”
This game was close in the first half, as Natalia edged Nixon 14-13 in the opening quarter. Natalia did a good job getting to the line, as they attempted thirteen free throws making seven. Padilla scored eight of the fourteen points.
In the second quarter, the girls in blue and white edged Nixon 12-9 allowing for a 26-22 lead at the half. Joseph led scoring in the second, with five of the twelve, all of which came at the free throw line.
Separation came in the third quarter of action, as Natalia out-scored the home squad 18-1 as Padilla and Sam Stallworth led the way offensively.
Natalia was edged in the final quarter 5-7, but were able to hold on for the overall 49-30 victory.
Scoring- Jelli Padilla 18, Sam Stallworth 12, Mariah Joseph 7, Destiny Zapata 5, Angie Zapata 3, Zita Perez 3, Dezarae Perez 1.
“We are going to work to get better every day and realize our full potential,” Lum said.
The Natalia Freshman team fell to Somerset 27-9 in the season opener. Natalia then went 1-3 in the Pleasanton Tourney picking up a 19-16 win over Stockdale.
The JV tied Somerset 15-15 and beat Nixon-Smiley 31-6 on the road last Saturday.
Natalia was at home on press night versus San Marcos Homeschool. This coming Saturday, Natalia returns home as they host Schertz John Paul II at 12:00 and 1:15 p.m. for a JV and Varsity contest. Natalia will also be home on Monday, November 19th as they host the Utopia Lady Buffs at 1:00 p.m.
This coming weekend, the JV Lady Mustangs travel to Pearsall for a two day tournament on November 15th and 17th.
By Eric Smith