Lady Mustangs win District 30-3A opener

Mariah Joseph gets ready to lay one in.

The Natalia Lady Mustangs (12-11, 1-0) got off to a great start in district play last Friday at home, as they picked up a gritty victory over the Cotulla Cowgirls. Natalia not only fended off a feisty and traditionally tough LaSalle County squad, but self inflicted foul trouble which forced numerous faces to hit the hardwood at NHS.
Missed free throws down the stretch nearly proved costly for the girls in blue as they hit just 5 of 16 free throws, but they managed to escape with a 45-43 victory.
“It was a great team win,” Coach Doug Lum said. “It took every person on the team to get it done. We were in heavy foul trouble the entire game.”
Natalia came out on fire offensively in the opening quarter, as team work was evident. A total of six players contributed offensively to a 16 point effort, leading the Lady Mustangs to a 16-4 lead after one.
In the second quarter, foul trouble helped reverse the offensive firepower allowing the Cowgirls to edge Natalia 12-7 in scoring. Natalia still managed to take a 23-16 lead into the half.
In the second half, there were plenty of free throws attempted. A total of 19 were attempted in the 3rd quarter alone which played key for both squads. Natalia edged Cotulla 13-11 scoring, as Raven Sanchez, Katelyn Corona and Mariah Joseph led the way. This gave the Lady Stangs a 35-27 edge going into the 4th quarter.
As mentioned, free throws continued in the 4th as the Cowgirls attempted 21 free throws as the Lady Mustangs attempted 16. Cotulla out-scored Natalia 16-10 in scoring, but it was the Lady Mustangs who held on for the 45-43 victory. Zita Perez led the Lady Stangs in the 4th scoring five of the ten points.
“We fought through this one and held on for the win,” Lum said.
Scoring Leaders-Perez 12, Sanchez 11, Destiny Zapata 6. Joseph 5.
Upcoming Games
Natalia was at home on press night battling a new face to district play, Laredo Harmony who has struggled severely all season long.
This Friday, Natalia travels to Frio County to battle a scrappy Dilley Lady Wolf squad at 6:30 p.m. as district play continues.
Tuesday, January 15th long time rival Lytle (5-17), who re-joined 3A, will come to town for a 6:30 p.m. battle.
By Eric Smith