GONZALES — The Gonzales Lady Apaches (9-3) were locked in at third place coming into Tuesday’s district finale against San Antonio Brooks Academy (0-12). With nothing to play for, and with no warmup game at the end of the week, Lady Apaches head coach Brock Ramsey wanted to make sure his team used the first half to fine-tune the defense and make sure the girls were kept “in rhythm.”
The Lady Apaches did just that, blowing out SA Brooks Academy 66-11.
“Basically [we used the first half to] just stay in the rhythm to what we were doing,” Ramsey said, “working first half on our defense, taking the shots we need to be taking to prepare for the playoff game. Of course, it’s always a tough situation when you feel like you got a pretty good chance to win a game pretty handedly, to be unfocused. Our girls stayed focused in the first half, executed what we wanted to execute.”
Although coaches will always find aspects of a game to nitpick and try to improve on, it’s going to be hard for the Lady Apaches coaching staff to see many flaws, if at all, on a 51-0 run. Gonzales’ defense didn’t allow a score until 4:44 left in the third quarter.
After that first half, Ramsey went deeper than usual in the bench to finish out the game with a 66-11 victory. Twelve Lady Apaches came away with points, with Devon Williams leading the way with 16 points. Ali Rocha, Destiny Hunt, and Chelsie Hastings had eight points each while Chella Longoria had seven. Sophomore Sam Barnick scored six points.
The Lady Apaches celebrated senior night prior to the game as the team honored the trio of Hastings, Hunt and Kayley Martinez.
“The biggest thing for these three seniors is they’ve all done what’s asked of them,” Ramsey said. “They all have a piece to the pie, just like the rest of the team, and so they’ve all stepped into the roles we’ve asked of them. Chelsie has done a great job with her shooting, her defense has come on tremendous this year. Kayley has always been a great defender and this year stepped even more in that role. Been a great leader for us at that. Destiny of course has always been, she’s had to play several different positions throughout her career and has stepped in each of those and done a great job for us and been there when we needed her.”
Now, the Lady Apaches have their eyes set on Crystal City who took second in District 29-4A to Devine (ranked 21st in Class 4A this week by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches).
“They’re a solid team,” Ramsey said of Crystal City. “They’re really a triple-threat team. One guard that’s a really good player, got a post player that plays inside outside some, can attack the basket. They got another young player that she’s a good little baseline shooter and does all the kind of ‘trash’ work that you need a good player to do. They got three solid players that if we don’t get after them can cause a little struggle.”
The Javelinas usually play man defense, which caused problems for Gonzales early on, but the Lady Apaches have shown in recent history they are ready for it.
“Cuero played man and we beat them,” Ramsey assured, “so we’re starting to understand what to do in those situations.”
The game plan for Gonzales next week will be the same game plan they’ve had all year. Be aggressive and wear out their opponents.
“Our rotation hasn’t been because we’re up big, so we substitute that deep part of the bench. They’re part of our rotation off the bat,” Ramsey explained. “You see it in the first quarter, nine of our 11 usually get in the first quarter. We’re heavy and we’re going to stay heavy and deep with it and we’re going to run our rotation and run our system. With our defense, our game plan all year round is to wear teams out because most teams aren’t as deep as we are and we feel like if we can do what we do in the first half, by the third quarter, a lot of teams we’ve held to two or three points in the third quarter because of our depth and because of the way we stay with it and keep our girls fresh. When our starting five is fresh in the fourth quarter, we’re pretty tough to stop.”
Three starters and three bench players were in last year’s playoff game. There’s still plenty that haven’t seen postseason action, but Ramsey hopes the experience outweighs the inexperience in this playoff run.
The Lady Apaches do not have a warmup game this week. They will take on Crystal City in the bi-district round of playoffs on Monday, Feb. 11 at Medina Valley High School in Castroville with tipoff scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
|District 30-4A girls hoops|
|SA Brooks Academy||0||12||0.000|