STAFFORD – A close game turned into a rout in the third quarter as the Boling Lady Bulldogs’ (15-17, 6-6) season ended on Tuesday, Feb. 18, falling to the Anderson-Shiro Fighting Lady Owls, 66-40.
"When you play against teams who are farther along fundamentally, you can't get mad at them for winning, that's life," Lady Bulldogs Coach Jonathan Gibson said. "Personnel wise we were a little off, it is what it is."
Boling's size in the front court was negated by Anderson-Shiro's speed from its four-guard lineup.
Anderson-Shiro's press caused problems for Boling early as it turned the ball over leading to easy fastbreak points.
Mid-way through the first quarter junior Lady Bulldogs point guard Zacoryia Montalvo hit freshman post Madison Malone who was cutting to the rim. Malone made the layup to make the game 9-8 with the Lady Fighting Owls on top, the closest Boling got the rest of the night.
Boling's two posts clogged the paint and made layups tough, forcing shots from the outside and Anderson-Shiro missed a lot of open shots early.
Down 23-14 with 14 seconds left, Montalvo put a three up and it kicked off the back of the rim. Montalvo followed her shot, got the rebound, and put it back in for a score as the half-time buzzer sounded.
Forcing the Fighting Lady Owls to make outside shots worked in the first half with their shooters off target. Out of the break, Anderson-Shiro hit two in a row as it started to pull away from Boling.
The Lady Bulldogs worked the ball inside, but points were hard to come by with shots not falling. With Boling now running out to stop Anderson-Shiro three's, the players started to get layups to fall and their sophomore guard, Haley Mason, put up 12 of her game-high 32 points in the third quarter. Anderson-Shiro closed the quarter leading 52-29.
Working to get to 40 points, Boling achieved that in-game milestone from senior guard Logan Simpson, who hit a three as time expired.
The Lady Bulldogs had two scorers in double-digit points, with Malone leading the team with 12. Montalvo added 10 points.
By advancing, Anderson-Shiro will face Orangefield in the Class 3A area round.
While the game wasn't close in the second half, with three seniors graduating, a majority of the team will have the opportunity to return. The experience, even though it was a loss, is something that could benefit players for next season as they will enter a third-season with Gibson leading the team.
"This experience is invaluable. You'll never get the same look in practice that you'll get from playing opponents," Gibson said.