Lady Rangers notch first victory, improve to 1-3.
By Michael Peters
The final seconds are ticking down and the Lady Rangers have the ball.
Fire science sophomore Jennifer Gonzales races down the court as the home crowd goes wild. Gonzales streaks toward the hoop and drops a layup as time expires.
The final buzzer sounds and a weight is lifted from the shoulders of the Lady Rangers.
This was the scene Wednesday night in Gym 1 of Candler Physical Education Center as the Lady Rangers achieved their first victory of the season.
While those 2 points were insignificant to the final result, a 51-28 victory for the Lady Rangers over the Incarnate Word Lady Cardinals, it symbolized the Lady Rangers finishing the game strong.
The Lady Rangers entered the game 0-3 on the season, and two of those losses were blowouts.
The other loss, coming against the Northwest Vista Lady Wildcats, was a game the Lady Rangers perhaps should have won. They made a few costly mistakes in the final minutes of their 51-47 loss to the Lady Wildcats, which made finishing Wednesday’s game strong against Incarnate Word all the more important.
Forris Phillips, this college’s women’s basketball coach, said getting a win finally got the monkey off their back.
“The first home game, we were so close and didn’t finish,” Phillips said. “I’m proud of all their hard work, and I’m really happy for them.”
It was a balanced effort for the Lady Rangers as everyone on the roster played and scored, which was a point of pride for Phillips.
Phillips said the team practiced hard all week after a tough 81-31 loss on the road to the Victoria College Lady Pirates.
While the Lady Rangers grabbed a convincing victory, the team still has plenty to work on going forward.
The Lady Rangers committed 34 turnovers while shooting 8-20 from the foul stripe, which equates to a measly 40 percent. On a positive note, the Lady Rangers forced the Lady Cardinals into committing 37 turnovers.
“The turnovers are killing me,” Phillips said. “Luckily, UIW didn’t turn it into points,” Phillips said.
The Lady Rangers are on a bye next week, and Phillips hopes to get the turnover situation corrected with the extra practice time.
Phillips believes the key to cutting down the turnovers is for his players to stay calm and take what the defense is giving them.
While the Lady Rangers are on a bye next week, the Lady Cardinals, with a record of 1-2, will play host to the Southwest Texas Junior College Cowgirls at 6 p.m. Wednesday at McDermott Center.