Girls basketball notes: Santa Maria continues to climb state poll

The Santa Maria Lady Cougars keep climbing up the polls, moving up a spot to No. 14 in this week’s Texas Girls Coaches Association 2017 Basketball Poll.

With the win against San Isidro on Tuesday, the Lady Cougars improved to 23-2 overall and 5-0 in District 32-2A. However, the win didn’t come easy.

San Isidro went in looking for a win and almost walked away with one as the Lady Cougars had to come from behind for a 47-46 victory.

Down by five points with 1:20 left in the contest, Santa Maria needed some key plays to get back in it — and it got them.

“It was extremely intense because we knew what was on the line, knowing our goal was to go get that district title,” said Santa Maria Andrew Sierra. “Down he stretch Keana Ortiz hit a huge three-pointer from the corner and then AlyzzaGarcia got a key steal before passing to Keana and getting fouled. Keana and AlyzzaGarcia both hit two free throws each to put us up by one.”

For the Lady Cougars, Clara Briones scored a team high 13 points with 18 rebounds, while teammate Yazmin Cantu added nine points with eight rebounds, Byanca Cantu contributed nine points with five steals and Keana Ortiz scored eight points with assists.

“It was a good game between both teams going back and forth,” said Sierra. “We knew it was going to be tough game and our girls fought till the end.

“I told the girls after the game, ‘that’s why we say MOE’ (Matter of effort). They gave all their effort on the court that night. Our goal is to go deep in the playoffs.”

Up next, the Lady Cougars hit the road to take on San Perlita on Tuesday.