Lady Tigers clinch playoff spot

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For the ninth straight season, the Sealy Lady Tigers’ basketball team has secured a spot in the playoffs as the end of their regular season nears closer. With a 6-3 district record, the Tigers have secured at least the third spot in the district with their last game of the regular season against Stafford determining who finishes second.

Sealy has split its past two games, defeating rival Bellville at home 32-29 but losing to Columbus 37-32. It was the Lady Tigers’ second and final regular season loss against Columbus with both losses coming by five points or less. The first loss against them came on Jan. 16 in which the girls’ team lost by a score of 37-34 after senior guard McKayla Black found herself in early foul trouble.

Head Coach Anthony Branch said despite the team already being in the playoffs, they have to focus on what to improve so they can make the most of the opportunity.

“We have to do better with creating shots and especially getting offensive rebounds because that’s where we struggled with the most against Bellville and Columbus,” he said. “We got lucky against Bellville and had some things go our way but Columbus took advantage of us not being aggressive enough on the boards and it showed.”

Branch said if the team can improve their offensive rebounding, it could gift the Lady Tigers almost nine possessions per game. He also pointed out that the team’s defense has been stellar over the past few weeks, citing their performance against their opponent’s top talent. Against Columbus in which they held a player to 5-25 shooting and continually forced her to make bad shots.

“There definitely wasn’t a lack of effort on their part because they were pushing her all over the court,” Branch said. “It was one of the losses where I really felt for the team because they played their hearts out and they did so many things right but just sometimes you come up short.”

Branch said the team will have to focus on ensuring players like McKayla Black who usually shoulders the load in terms of scoring to share the ball and players like Zoee Jeffrey and Jayme Kana make their impact felt with rebounds, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

“These girls are a confident bunch and they’re capable of doing some great things so the key is finding that confidence again and making sure we do our jobs right,” Branch said. “They’ve really grown this season and done everything that I’ve asked so I’m confident we can do well with this roster.”

The team’s last game of the season is at home against Stafford which will be played during press time so check for scores and updates on The Sealy News website and Facebook page.

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