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Lady Longhorns grab victory

 

January 29, 2020

TEXICO — For Logan’s girls basketball team, Saturday night’s game at Texico High School represented another in a series of games, another step, that the Lady Longhorns hope leads them to a state championship.

For a young Texico team trying to improve amidst an injury-riddled season, it was a chance to take down the recently-minted Eastern Plains Athletic Conference champions.

And though the Lady Wolverines came close to doing just that, they fell short against Logan and lost 48-44.

For the Lady Longhorns, it was their 16th victory in 19 tries this season, but not their most memorable of the season, considering they had led 48-36 very late in the fourth quarter. For Texico, it was a spirited comeback that was reason for optimism.

“Yeah, we made some plays that we haven’t been making,” Lady Wolverines head coach Richard Luscombe said, “and I thought we did a good job defensively of forcing some turnovers and getting back and getting into spots where we needed to shoot the ball out of our offense. It’s good when you make some shots and at least get a chance to stay in the game, but I think being capable of playing that hard is one of the things that we’ve got to keep doing.”

Logan head coach Glynna Strand wasn’t thrilled that her team had allowed Texico to climb back into it near the end.

“We didn’t play very well,” Strand said. “It shouldn’t have ever been that close. That happens sometimes. I’m happy with the win, yes. Am I happy with our playing? No, not really.”

The Lady Longhorns had a 19-13 lead in the second quarter and accelerated it to 25-14 by halftime. Foul trouble for Texico forwards Ashley Hill and Rachel Phipps contributed to the increased margin.

A Jordan Hines three to open the third-quarter scoring made it a 28-14 game, but Texico showed signs of things to come with a pair of free throws by Riley Rohrbach and a leaner by Hill, followed by two- and three-point baskets from Phipps that brought the Lady Wolverines within 28-21.

Logan’s lead was still in the single digits, 35-27, at the end of the third quarter.

After a fast-break layup from Kyndall Ragland gave Logan a 10-point advantage early in the fourth, Texico scored five straight – on an inside basket from Hill and a straightaway three from Phipps – that sliced the Lady Wolverines’ deficit to just 37-32.

However, Logan then went on an 11-4 run to build that 48-36 cushion.

With just a minute left in the fourth quarter and Logan’s lead seeming secure, Texico made one last rush. Phipps hit another three-pointer to make it a nine-point contest, then came up with a steal and nailed a step-back jumper, bringing Texico within 48-41.

Logan couldn’t score on its next possession, and on the other end, Rohrbach made it to the foul line with 13.1 seconds left. She went 1-of-2, missing the second attempt, but Hill chased down the rebound and was fouled while attempting a short jumper with 10.6 seconds to go. Hill sank both attempts, bringing the Lady Wolverines within just four.

Melissa Lewallen came up with a steal and drove for a layup attempt that brushed off the front iron in the waning seconds.

Time ran out and Texico had fallen short, Logan had prevailed.

“We weren’t very disciplined and poised toward the end,” Strand said. “Our intensity was kind of up and down, and it wasn’t solid the whole way through.”

Saturday’s game was just two weeks since Logan’s comeback and double-overtime victory over Melrose in the EPAC championship game at Greyhound Arena. And the Lady Longhorns’ most recent game prior to Saturday was another win over Melrose, this time at Logan High.

Saturday, though, Logan may have taken a step in the wrong direction.

“On Thursday I would’ve said we’ve progressed a lot (since EPAC),” Strand said. “Today we kind of backslid.”

On the other hand, Texico’s late-game charge may have been a promising sign for the Lady Wolverines.

“We’ve got to keep playing hard,” Luscombe said, “because good things will happen.”

 
 

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