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Photo by Gerald Castillo

Lady Rattlers remain hungry despite missing playoffs

San Marcos Girls Basketball
Thursday, February 7, 2019

San Marcos is hungry.

The Lady Rattlers have been hungry for awhile, missing the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. It’s what motivated them to elevate their play heading into this season.

The team fell to New Braunfels inside the Snake Pit on Tuesday, 53-45 in its regular season finale. San Marcos missed the playoffs again, finishing in seventh place in the district. But the result didn’t reflect what the hosts accomplished this season. The Lady Rattlers are growing.

“We’re young, we’ve got a lot of young kids,” head coach Veronda Kendall said. “Had a lot of young impatience, a lot of young mistakes, a lot of turnovers, things like that that started to catch up with us. You know, to overcome that, you have to be extremely disciplined. And so, that’s an area where we have to improve.”

San Marcos tipped off the non-district season on a 15-4 run, picking up a third place trophy at the Hays CISD Classic. The team looked experienced. But they weren’t.

The Lady Rattlers rostered just three seniors on the varsity squad. The rest of the rotation was made up by underclassmen — mostly freshmen.

“These girls work hard,” Kendall said. “They’re willing to move in the direction that we need to move in to be better.”

The team’s age began to show during district play. San Marcos made it through the first cycle with a 3-4 record, sitting in contention for a playoff spot. But the Lady Rattlers won just one game in a road-heavy second cycle and finished the season at 4-10 in district and 20-17 overall.

Seniors Andrea Flores, JoAnna Galvan and Abigail Pena will graduate this spring. But San Marcos is bringing back most of its team — including its top five scorers — featuring three juniors, a sophomore and five freshmen.

“I don’t want to say (we will) pick up where we left off. I think we’ll be as strong if not stronger,” Kendall said. “I think we’ll be just as competitive and maybe even more so.”

The Lady Rattlers will need to stay hungry to reach their goal of making the playoffs next year. Kendall doesn’t see that being a problem.

“They’re scrappy. They’re a hungry group, “ Kendall said. “So, I don’t expect to see anything less than them continuing to work toward us being a better version of ourselves.”