GONZALES — Fans may see the district record of 1-2 and not think much of it, but if they haven’t been paying attention, this Gonzales Lady Apaches team is one to keep an eye on.
After knocking off the Navarro Lady Panthers at home 58-47 last Friday, Dec. 21, Gonzales is headed to the holiday break with the momentum on their side, and they’ve been using their defense as well as their willingness to attack the basket in the paint to pile up victories.
“Our defense this year has been tremendous,” Gonzales Head Coach Brock Ramsey said. “We got three times the number of wins we had this time last year and it’s because of our defense as we’ve been four quarters of ‘get after it’ all year and tonight the defense turned the tide.”
With a large class of juniors and a few sophomores on the roster, the Lady Apaches are still young and prone to make mistakes, like they did in the third quarter. Up 34-24, Navarro went on a 10-1 run before Gonzales called timeouts, first with 3:15 left in the third then with 2:31 left in the third. Navarro’s Emily Hinkelmann scored with 1:22 to give the Lady Panthers the 36-35 lead.
That lead would last all of 10 seconds of game clock, as Gonzales took it back with a 6-1 run to end the third up 41-37.
“I think the biggest thing there was we just had to gain our composure back,” Ramsey said. “We’re young, we’ve got a class of juniors and two or three sophomores we’ve added to the mix, just getting our composure back, controlling the ball and then when we did that where we were able to control the ball on offense, get a couple of baskets, that led to our press on our defense and allowed our defense to play what we needed to play.”
The closest Navarro came to overtaking Gonzales was a two by Brianna Castellano that cut the lead to 45-43. But then the Lady Apaches would go on a 13-0 run with scores from Devon Williams, Hayley Sample and Ali Rocha. Navarro scored four more pints in the last 30 seconds to end the game 58-47 in favor of the home Lady Apaches.
When asked on who stuck out that game, Ramsey admittedly noted it would be tough, and proceeded to name many athletes including Maddie Pirkle, Chelsie Hastings, Chella Longoria, Devon Williams and Sam Barnick.
“It’s tough tonight to pick out one because they all did a great job,” Ramsey said. “Maddie Pirkle defensively did a great job of shutting down one of the best players in district, did a good job of holding her down. Of course, we had other girls that stepped in that spot as well. Chelsie Hastings did a great job with it also.”
“Devon did a great job offensively, her rebounding on defense was great,” Ramsey continued. “Of course, Chella Longoria, her ball handling is always a key factor for us, Sam Barnick being a sophomore and attacking her defense the way she did, that was a huge factor for us tonight. When Chella got tired and struggled with it, Sam took over and handled the ball well there. It was a great team effort, those girls especially in those situations. Maddie and her defense, Devon with her rebounds on both ends and Chella and Sam handling the ball.”
The Lady Apaches are currently on a five-day break, but return to action this weekend for Weimar tournament. Gonzales then travels to take on Lytle on Wednesday, Jan. 2 with tipoff at 3:45 p.m. before getting back on the district schedule.
“Weimar tournament and Lytle game will be kind of giving us a chance to get back going with what we’ve been doing, and just getting our momentum going back before we hit Poteet on that Friday [Jan.4],” Ramsey noted.