Rangers send Cowgirls packing, advance to conference tournament

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Kinesiology freshman Celeste Arriaga drives the ball down the court looking for an open teammate April 11 against Southwest Texas Junior College in Gym 1 of Candler. The Rangers defeated SWTJC 83-62. Brianna Rodrigue

The team will face UIW in the first round of the tournament, coach says.

By Dillon Holloway

dholloway12@student.alamo.edu

Fighting to keep their conference tournament hopes alive, and without Destiny Solis (Achilles tear), kinesiology freshman and Rangers’ starting guard, it seemed likely the Rangers would need to pull off a big performance to advance past the Southwest Texas Junior College Cowgirls.

Fortunately for the Rangers, big performances were in vogue during the team’s 83-62 blowout victory over the Cowgirls April 11 in Candler Physical Education Center.

Three Rangers scored in double figures, including Jordan Foster, criminal justice sophomore and guard, who led all scorers with 24 points.

Foster connected on a total of eight field goals, including three from beyond the arc, and shot five of eight from the free-throw line.

The victory earned the Rangers a spot in the Texas Collegiate Club Sports League conference tournament where they will meet the University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals 1 p.m. April 14 inside the wellness center gymnasium at UIW.

Rangers head coach Haley Capestany talked about what making the conference tournament means to her.

“Last year, we didn’t make it so this feels really good,” Capestany said.

“The last time we went was two years ago when we went to the championship game. I’m feeling overwhelmed. Pretty happy about it.”

Celeste Arriaga, kinesiology freshman and Rangers’ guard, poured in 22 points on seven field goals, four of which came from 3-point range.

Arriaga was perfect from the foul line, making all four of her free throw attempts.

Breanna Sifuentes, engineering sophomore and Rangers’ forward, pitched in down-low with 12 points in the paint.

Sifuentes also sank five of six free throw attempts, bringing her point total to 17 for the game.

The Rangers enjoyed a 12-point lead heading into the third quarter, but a 22-12 Cowgirls run brought the visiting team back within 2.

Capestany said she instructed the team to calm down and refocus.

“I told them ‘hey look, y’all aren’t playing your game right now. They were just standing up top. They weren’t cutting or anything,” she said.

“I said ‘look, get back to your game. If you get away from it, they are going to come back at y’all. So, get back, you’ve got to play D, you’ve got to hustle.’”

The Rangers got back to playing lockdown defense in the fourth quarter, putting together a 20-6 run, which proved to be insurmountable for the Cowgirls.

The team will look to take advantage of their newfound momentum when they begin tournament play April 14.

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