Girls basketball notes: Lady Cougars clinch 3rd straight league title

For the third consecutive season the Santa Maria Lady Cougars won the District 32-3A title on Friday with a 60-23 victory over the Lasara Lady Lions.

Lorena Ayala (7 steals) and Keana Ortiz (10 steals) led the Lady Cougars with 12 points each while teammates Isabel Gonzales added 10 points and six rebounds, and Byanca Cantu contributed nine points and seven rebounds.

Santa Maria wraps up its district schedule on the road against La Villa on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Lady Cougars rose one spot to 13th on the Texas Girls Coaches Association 2017 Basketball Poll. Over the past couple of weeks Santa Maria has jumped two spots as the team improved its record to 25-2 overall.

“It’s exciting for everyone and the community,” said Santa Maria head coach Andrew Sierra about the upcoming playoffs. “We’re staying humble and it’s been something we’ve been patiently waiting for. We’re sticking to our routine and working hard to reach our goal to go deep into the playoffs.

“We reached our goal of obtaining the district title and now we’re looking to break the first-round curse that has followed our program.”

On the playoff front, the Lady Cougars have secured the first seed and are awaiting District 31-2A to wrap up. Santa Maria will face either Ben Bolt, Riviera or Agua Dulce in the bi-district round.

LADY BULLDOGS: The Lyford Lady Bulldogs edged a little closer to clinching a share of the District 32-3A title after they defeated IDEA Quest on Friday to get to within one game of the Santa Rosa Lady Warriors, who have already clinched a share of the league crown.

After defeating Quest 44-9 on Friday, Lyford will have to play Quest again on Friday as a makeup game that was rescheduled due to weather earlier in the season.

Alexia Sierra led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points, Adriana Duran and Jackie Santillana each added six points, and Marialy Saldivar contributed five points.

“Our game plan was to drive the ball to the basket,” said Lyford head coach Teresa Gutierrez. “I felt like we had the advantage as far as quickness and strength. We didn’t want to settle for the outside shot unless it was off of a drive-and-kick situation.

“In the huddle after the first quarter I told the girls that we are still going to attack the basket but we needed to concentrate and make free throws.”

Despite going 3 of 11 from the charity stripe in the first quarter, the Lady Bulldogs came away with a total of 19 points from the line on the evening.