LYFORD — Entering Tuesday night’s Class 4A bi-district round, La Feria found itself as underdogs against Corpus Christi West Oso.
Despite falling behind early, the Lionettes put together a gutsy performance against a stifling full-court press before losing 44-31, thus ending their season.
West Oso advances to the area round, where it will meet La Verina.
La Feria senior point guard Karina Diaz paced the offense with a game-high 12 points, and fellow senior Kayla Lowe netted six points.
“Tonight was tough,” Diaz said. “I thought we played well together, we went three big and that was different, but overall I thought we played as one. Coach wanted us to keep pushing. We were right in the mix at halftime.”
All night long, the Lionettes struggled to break the press of West Oso, forcing La Feria coach Angel Martinez to adjust his lineup. Along with the press, La Feria could not overcome its turnovers but managed to keep pace during the first half.
“West Oso has size, so I had to go with another forward to match up with their size,” Martinez said. “Now what happens is when I add another forward is I lose a shooter, and that hurts us on offense, and we tried to match everything up as best as we could.”
West Oso raced out to a quick 7-0 run that stretched to a 14-5 lead late in the first quarter. Alyssa Grant scored a game-high 12 points and led the Lady Bears’ offense.
“Lowe got in some foul trouble and when she is out, we have a hard time bringing the ball up,” Martinez said. “Much credit to West Oso, they brought the press and manned us up all night. The late turnovers and the press is what helped them get the lead late.”
After trailing by double digits, the Lionettes rallied in the second quarter behind Diaz and cut the lead to 21-18 at the half. La Feria got as close as 21-20 during the third quarter.
La Feria was outscored 23-13 during the second half, only putting together five points in the fourth quarter.
Moving forward, the Lionettes will lose Diaz and Lowe to graduation. The duo will be tough to replace next season, but La Feria will look to Maggie Cavazos, Jeno Ochoa and Reanne Fraga to contribute next year.
“My senior year had a lot of ups and downs,” Lowe said. “I thought we played a hell of a game tonight. Who would have thought we would be that close with a team who finished as a district camp? Both Karina and I told the young girls that we didn’t want this to be our last game, but it is and that is fine, but we do know they will all get back to work and they will be ready for next season.”