After dropping both games on the road against district leaders Stafford and Columbus, the Sealy Lady Tigers basketball team saw its few remaining district games take on a new type of importance. They showed they realized that importance by winning their next game against Royal last Tuesday and following it up with another against Needville.
The game against Royal was a tense matchup with emotions running high and a player for Royal being ejected in the third quarter after starting a scuffle on the court. Both the Lady Tigers and the Falcons were able to finish the game without any further incidents.
Senior Jayme Kana said the team being able to keep a calm composure throughout a tense game speaks to their bond as teammates and on-court intelligence.
“We just know that these games are really important and we can’t do anything that could harm our chances and so we know each other well enough to keep us cool and focus on the game,” Kana said.
She finished second in scoring on the team with 13 points making half her shots and also finishing with two rebounds and an assist. Fellow senior McKayla Black was one rebound away from a triple-double finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
The Lady Tigers went into the fourth quarter up 29-21 but expanded that lead thanks to a 25-point fourth quarter that locked up their 54-38 win. The Lady Tigers have not lost to the Falcons in basketball since 2013.
The Lady Tigers then went on the road to play the Needville Blue Jays. After entering the second quarter down 8-7, the team found their defensive footing and quickly climbed out of the deficit.
Sealy allowed their opponents to score just one basket in the second quarter and just two in the third while scoring a combined 23 points themselves across that span. Needville managed to score eight points but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Tigers won handedly 43-22.
For Kana, these late wins down the stretch have added to what she says has been a great final season for her.
“For me, this is it because I’m not going to play in college so this is the final time I’ll be playing basketball so I want to make sure my final game is as far away as possible,” Kana said. “We’ve just grown so much as a team and we just want this season to keep going.”
The win put Sealy at third in the district with a 5-2 record, with Stafford having the same record but owning the tiebreaker over Sealy. The team will play Columbus on the road this Friday then travel to take on Stafford on Feb. 6. Both are key games for the Lady Tigers but both are games Head Coach Anthony Branch is confident about.
“We can win those games because we had Columbus at home when we played them last but we just couldn’t close out the win and fell apart late,” Branch said. “Same thing with Stafford, if we just cut down on the mistakes and do what I know we’re capable of then we have real potential in those matchups.”