Lady Gobblers continue hot streak

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record

Following a 10-day layoff for the Christmas holidays, it would’ve been easy to sleepwalk into the second half of the season. That wasn’t the case, though, for Cuero’s Lady Gobblers. Cuero showcased three of their best games of the season during this season’s Lady Gobbler Classic en route to wins over Nixon-Smiley (43-17), Wimberley (43-30) and Yoakum (42-19).

“I was impressed with them,” Cuero coach Amy Crain said. “When you’re off for awhile, during this time of the year, you accumulate some rust, and we were on a roll. Three district wins, then we get a little break for Christmas. It’s a neat time; it’s family time, then you get back into it.”

There was a slow start in their first game against Nixon-Smiley, but Cuero found a way to turn in another strong performance coming off three straight district wins.

“We shook off a little rust at first but got right back into it,” Crain said. “We had two good practices. I thought they played hard; I thought they hustled. They were all over the court.”

Rebounding and limiting turnovers remain a focus for the Lady Gobblers. Crain continues to stress that to her players, and it paid off over these three wins.

““If we can really improve daily on that, it’s going to help us down the road,” she said. “Every game we have goals as far as rebounding. That’s just key as we make a run in the district race.”

During the first two games against Nixon-Smiley and Wimberley, Cuero turned the ball over less than they have all season. They also took care of the ball against Yoakum, one of the many things the Lady Gobblers have showed improvement on throughout the season.

Many players are stepping up for Cuero, including some of the underclassmen.

“Z [Zha’Vanna Gray] had a great game this last game, and we needed her to,” Crain said. “We played three games today, so kids get tired. Clayre Pullin had a good tournament. She got physical in her game. They’re coming together. It’s neat to see them rewarded for the work they’re doing in practice and in the weight room. I was real pleased with the way they played in the tournament.”

Despite only being a freshman, Gray has quickly become one of the top players for Cuero on both ends of the court.

“What comes to mind first is no fear,” Crain said, referring to Gray. “She has no fear about driving and taking it inside, battling the big girls. She’s a little kid, but she doesn’t play little. She’s fun to watch. She gives us a spark. The girls know what to expect when she gets on the floor, and I think kids feed off of that. We started off this game slow offensively. Our shots wouldn’t fall. We were a little lethargic. Z comes in, and we go on a run.”

Having a set of games in one day is important at this point of the season, as Crain noted.

“You need games during the long break,” she said. “It helps keep you sharp. We’ll have one more non-district game then get back into the district race. I’m looking forward to it, the kids are battling and it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Along with clearly having fun, Crain has noticed her team realize just how good they can be, and it comes on the heels of a tough stretch in district.

“Until you get out there and battle and work and see it for yourself, you don’t know,” she said. “Now that we’re about halfway through our season, they’re beginning to realize it. It’s anybody’s race in district. We’re getting ready to get into the heart of it, then we’ll have a better gauge of where we are finishing off the district race.”

Notes: Cuero is now 13-7 on the season and 3-0 in district. They will play St. Joseph on Friday night at 6:15 before facing two of the top teams in their district: La Vernia on Jan. 5 and Navarro on Jan. 8.

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