Photo by Gerald Castillo
Lady Rattlers take silver second place at Champions Classic
San Marcos lost its first game of the season Thursday night to Richland, 46-40, moving the Lady Rattlers to the silver pool for the second round of the Champions Classic inside the Snake Pit.
The team quickly fell behind in its next game Friday morning, trailing Tomball Concordia Lutheran, 32-25, heading into the fourth quarter. Facing adversity is tough. The players could have let it anchor them down. But it didn’t.
“I think they’re learning how to get over that little hump where we are,” head coach Veronda Kendall said. “The difference between an average team and a team that can step on the floor and compete with anybody, I think that’s right where we are right now.”
Kendall leaned heavily on freshman Angelina Sotelo during the final moments of the game. The guard responded by poking the ball away and running the fastbreak for a layup that gave the lead back to the Lady Rattlers. San Marcos went on to win the game, 41-37.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all, but I’m glad it happened,” Sotelo said. “Once we tied it, we made sure not to blow that lead.”
“You see one person do it, you want to do better,” freshman guard Ciarra Vidrine said. “(Sotelo) was driving more and it was like the whole atmosphere was changing.”
The momentum from the win carried into the afternoon, when the Lady Rattlers defeated Dripping Springs, 44-37. After the Lady Tigers tied the game up at 26-26, San Marcos closed out the third quarter on an 8-1 run and never looked back.
“We’re very confident,” freshman guard Vivian Hernandez said. “(We were) very motivated. Escpecially me, I kind of lost it (Thursday). But today, I just knew I had to bring it up for the team.”
The two wins pushed the team into the silver championship of the tournament against Round Rock Westwood on Saturday. Once again, San Marcos fell behind early, as the Lady Warriors pressed their way to a 21-9 lead in the first quarter and started the second quarter on a 7-0 run.
But just like before, the Lady Rattlers didn’t let it weigh them down. They closed out the second quarter on a 9-5 run and continued to chip away at the lead through the second half. Junior wing Miranda Lamb canned a buzzer-beating three at the end of the third quarter to cut Westwood’s lead to 44-36, but that was as close as the Lady Rattlers would get.
Though the team wasn’t able to win the silver medals, Kendall was pleased with the way her players fought and improved over the course of the tournament.
“We did OK, we did OK,” Kendall said. “I think we’ve found the areas where we have to get better … We’re riding pretty good energy right now. And you know, hopefully these games, with all this experience, will help us.”
San Marcos (7-2) returns to action Tuesday against Killeen Shoemaker (0-3) at 12:30 p.m. inside the 'Snake Pit.'