The Wharton Lady Tigers and the Fulshear Lady Chargers each earned a 3-0 record following play during the two-day Classic at Wharton High School.
The Classic was not organized to have championship and consolation brackets, but rather on a set schedule. Going into the tournament, WHS and Fulshear players knew they would not be playing against each other.
By tournament’s end Wharton improved to 12-3 on the year, Fulshear improved to 13-8.
But, they are district opponents. They will meet for the first time this season on Jan. 17 at WHS in a District 25-4A matchup. By press time, each has already earned a district victory.
In the Lady Tigers Classic, Fulshear defeated its opponents by more than 10 points. Wharton’s toughest game was against Sam Rayburn of Pasadena, which the Lady Tigers defeated by four points. By comparison, Fulshear defeated Rayburn by 20 points.
Rayburn finished 2-2, as did the East Bernard Brahmarettes and Yoakum.
Houston ISD’s Northside, which was once named Jefferson Davis High School, went 0-4 in the Classic. Alief Hastings was 1-3 and Baytown Lee, which only played the first day, finished 1-1.
Some of these teams were not entered into the Classic a year ago when Terry Gray was Wharton’s head coach and Ratysha Hardy was an assistant. In fact, Hardy and Gray were coaches different years at Baytown Lee, which is one reason the Lady Ganders were invited to compete here.
Hardy said there could be major changes in the way the Classic is formatted next season.
EBHS evens Classic record
It’s not known exactly how long it has been when EBHS went up against Wharton in a girls’ basketball game. It could be at least two decades. Hardy, who is in her first year leading the WHS program, said when the Classic was planned this season, some of the original teams that had committed were not able to play.
But, it’s a game that the EBHS faithful and team would not soon forget as WHS’s victory was lopsided.
The Lady Tigers’ defensive press affected the Brahmarettes, forcing turnovers that resulted in too many offensive opportunities for WHS. Despite the double-digit lead, the two teams played very physical throughout the contest as Wharton County bragging rights were on the line.
East Bernard started the Classic’s first day with a one-point victory over Yoakum, followed by a loss to Wharton. The next day, EBHS had its first game at 9 a.m., but it resulted in a convincing victory over Northside. A 44-31 loss to Fulshear happened, but the game was decided until the fourth quarter.
EBHS earned several steals to get offensive opportunities on the other end.
The Brahmarettes did have a 16-15 lead at the 5:30 mark of the second quarter when Samantha Rabius connected at the free-throw line. EBHS players gave Fulshear fits as they continued to get to loose balls and rebounds and cross the half court line for several offensive opportunities.
Like in their game against Wharton, EBHS also played very physical against Fulshear. The game was paused when the Brahmarettes’ Riley Bottoms was hit in the mouth with an elbow as she was trying to get to a a rebound inside the paint on Fulshear’s end of the court. The hit caused her to bleed and force the refs to call a timeout during the second half.
Before the game resumed, WHS coaches were allowed to wipe part of the court where Bottoms was hit and bled. She was looked at by a trainer.