District champions

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

Though the start of the game didn’t go as expected, coach Amy Crain’s Lady Gobblers picked up their 11th district win of the season and earned the 4A-District 30 championship in the process. Poteet kept Cuero off the scoreboard in the opening quarter, before the Lady Gobblers adjusted and picked up the win, 36-19.

“It just feels good,” Crain said of earning the district title. “It means a lot. It’s obviously what you work for year in and year out. It’s never easy. I’m so happy for the kids, because at the beginning of the season, it’s one of the things we marked as a goal. We don’t take our goals lightly, so I’m happy that they see the fruits of their efforts and hard work.”

For the first time this season and possibly only the second time in Crain’s tenure coaching here, Cuero was shutout in a quarter with Poteet leading 5-0 after the opening frame.

“It was very frustrating,” Crain noted. “We had some looks. I told the kids at halftime, “Early it was like there was a lead on the bucket.” We couldn’t buy a shot.”

Crain made sure to credit Poteet, though, who frustrated Cuero with their early tempo.

“They were very patient as far as executing their offense,” she said. “We couldn’t get going the way we wanted to get going. We got going later in the second quarter and created like we always do, offense with our defense. We picked up the energy and had a better third quarter and second half.”

The win was Cuero’s third straight following their only district loss to Gonzales on Jan. 22 which was their only loss since Dec. 4.

“You don’t want anything to kill your momentum,” Crain said. “We’ve been playing well. We had a big win on the road at Navarro, a big win over La Vernia. The struggles we had early tonight were frustrating, but we got through it. We got back to playing ball the way we know how to play.”

Since the start of the season, Crain has seen every player contribute to the success of this team with Wynter Taylor, Ibree Coe and Zha’Vonna Gray taking on key roles.

“She [Wynter] not only scores for us, but she creates so much on the offensive end for others and is solid defensively,” Crain said. “Ibree Coe may not score all the points in the world, but she led us in scoring tonight. She’s just solid defensively and sees the court so well, giving us opportunities to score. Z [Zha’Vonna], as a freshman, has contributed lots of minutes. Just with her energy and quickness wreaks havoc on whoever she’s guarding. With her quickness, she’s hard to defend.”

“All of our kids have had solid seasons,” Crain added. “We needed contributions from everybody to get us a district championship. I’m proud of all of them.”

The development of Cuero’s rebounding has becoming clear as the season has moved along.

“That includes being more physical, relentlessly going after balls,” Crain said. “We have spurts, like the first quarter, where we’re a little sluggish. At the beginning of the year, I asked them to elevate your individual game one notch up from a speed perspective. We’ve become better basketball players doing the little things right and better: rebounding, help defense, taking better shots.”

With the postseason drawing near, Crain wants them to build off this district championship but not rest on their success.

“While I’m super proud of them and so happy for the district championship, they have to understand that we start over,” she said. “Not every team makes the playoffs. Everybody that’s in is gonna bring it. It’s do or die. You have to be ready to play each game. It’s a one and done scenario. We gotta keep working, and we gotta keep getting better.”

Notes: Cuero will play either Hondo or Pearsall on Monday night in Floresville in bi-district.

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