SMITHVILLE — With the clock winding down from 16 seconds in the game, the Gonzales Lady Apaches tried to pressure Smithville into a turnover, but ultimately the inexperience was too much to overcome as the hosts held on, knocking off Gonzales 48-46. The Lady Apaches led throughout most of the game, though their biggest lead was just seven points, as both teams kept the game close.
Head Coach William Ramsey cited “knowledge of the game,” as a big factor in the loss.
“We’re still learning,” he said of the young squad. “We did some things right tonight that we’ve made mistakes in previous games.”
Fouls were a problem too in the second half, specifically in the fourth quarter. Up 39-35 entering the fourth, the Lady Apaches sent Smithville to the free-throw line six times to their two, as the Lady Tigers went 5-of-11 from the line. Gonzales would go 1-of-4 in that same period.
“The fouls went about 18-4 in the second half,” Ramsey said. “It is what it is.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Apaches were taking advantage of their depth, as Ramsey used all 10 players that dressed, going for the five-in, five-out approach early on.
“It’s something we’ve used some this season,” the coach noted. “We run our personnel based on the team [we play] and what works best for us.”
This resulted in seven of the 10 players scoring points, with sophomore Devon Williams leading the way with 10 points. Haley Riojas, another sophomore, added nine, while Cameron Kluting had seven points. Jiseala “Chella” Longoria had six, Chelsie Hastings had five and Kayley Martinez had four points.
Even with the foul trouble, the Lady Apaches struggled offensively in the last quarter, scoring just seven points. Up 43-41 with 3:30 left, the Lady Apaches couldn’t get a basket to go in until there was 42 seconds left, a score by Williams to cut the lead to 46-45. With 16 seconds, Williams would make one of her two free throws to cut the lead again to 48-46, which ended up being the final score of the game.
The Lady Apaches enter the winter break with plenty of close-game experiences, something Ramsey is seeing as a positive.
“Having these games are making us better,” he said. “It’s in-game situations that you can’t get in practice.”
The Lady Apaches are scheduled to be on break until tournament time next week, where they travel to Victoria for the St. Joseph Tournament from Dec. 28-30. They then play a home game on Jan. 2 against Flatonia, with tipoff scheduled at 6 p.m.