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Lady Lions Finish 12-0 In District Play

LADY LION DANIELLE MCWILLIAMS sends a three-pointer towards the basket during action Friday night in the THS gymnasium against Riesel. The Lions will draw a bye in the first round of the play-offs and play in the Area round game sometime between February 14-16 at a site to be determined later. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Johnson Photography)

Despite having already clinched the District 23-2A title a week earlier, the state-ranked Teague Lady Lions closed out the district schedule with an unblemished 12-0 record after recording victories on the road at Marlin and at home against Riesel.

The latest state rankings released on January 28 had Teague ranked # 9 in the Texas Association of Girls Coaches and # 15 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

In the 44-32 win at Marlin on Tuesday, January 29, Teague (24-4, 12-0) held the Lady Bulldogs to a single bucket in the entire first half in taking a 21-2 halftime lead before holding over the final two quarters for the 12-point victory.

The victory over Riesel on Senior Night saw the Lady Lions open up a 30-9 lead at the break before coasting to a 47-25 win over the Lady Indians to complete a clean sweep through their District 23-2A opponents.

The 12-0 mark is the first time that a Lady Lions basketball team has finished district play undefeated and the 24th win of the season also tied for the most wins in a season by a Teague girls? team. In Coach Taylor Sims? second year at the helm of the Lady Lions in 2009-10, they finished 24-9 and a Teague team in the mid-1990?s also notched 24 wins.

With its regular season completed, Teague stands on top of the loop standings at 12-0 followed by Buffalo (9-2) and Marlin and Mildred which are tied for third place at 6-5. Blooming Grove (4-7), Riesel (2-9) and Rice (0-11) round out the district standings with those six teams still having one game left to play on Tuesday, February 5.

If Marlin and Mildred both win their games on Tuesday, February 5 they will face a one-game playoff to determine the 3rd Place team for the 2013 playoffs from District 23-2A.

In last Tuesday?s win at Marlin, Teague utilized its pressing defense to completely stymie the Lady Dogs? attack with Marlin?s only basket in the first half coming with 1:16 left in the opening period.

The Lady Lions didn?t fare much better offensively in the early going as a 3-for-12 shooting effort in the first quarter game them a slim 6-2 advantage. Teague finally came to life in the second period as seven different players dented the scoring column lead by Kyera Abram?s five points to propel the guests to a 21-2 lead at the break.

The second half was much more closely contested with Marlin actually outscoring Teague 15-11 behind # 32 Tayla Taylor?s 11 points in the third to close to 32-17 by the end of the period.

For much of the game?s final eight minutes, Teague maintained a 17-point advantage over their hosts before Marlin senior point guard Tekerria Gude (# 4) nailed three 3-pointers in the last 5:25 to keep her team within rallying distance.

But the Lady Lions were able to hold off the Lady Dogs in the waning minutes to secure the 44-32 win on the road.

Abram posted another double-double for Teague by finishing with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Haley Guerrero and Caitlyn Collins added nine points apiece. Others scoring for the Lady Lions were NiCosha Nelms (4 points), Alie Watson (3), Sibyl Burrell (2) and Jasmine McQuirter (1).

Nelms pulled down 12 boards while Guerrero had six with Collins grabbing five more and Watson having four while Burrell and Kenya Busby also had rebounds for the Lady Lions.

Defensively, Abram and Guerrero each blocked two shots while Nelms and Collins also had blocks in the contest. Guerrero had six steals for Teague while Collins, Watson, McQuirter, Busby and Abram also had thefts in the game.

Collins dished out seven assists while Watson chipped in five more with Guerrero, Nelms, Busby and Hope Scales also handing out assists against the Lady Bulldogs.

From the field, Teague finished 16-of-38 (42%) from inside the arc and 2-of-8 (25%) from long range with Watson and Abram accounting for the Lady Lions? 3-pointers.

From the free-throw line, Teague was 6-of-14 (43%) as the two teams combined to attempt just 26 free throws the entire contest. The Lady Lions committed 25 turnovers in the game with 17 of those coming in the second half when Marlin employed a press to climb back into the contest.

For Marlin, Gude finished with 15 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter while Taylor added 14 for the Lady Dogs with C. Griffin (# 24) scoring two points and Evans (# 40) adding one to round out Marlin?s scoring.

In the team?s final home game of the season, when the four senior players were recognized, Teague raced out to a 16-7 lead over Riesel after one quarter before increasing the advantage to 30-9 at the half.

Riesel outscored their hosts in the third quarter as Teague suffered through a 2-of-17 shooting slump in the period with the Lady Indians putting up 10 points to the Lady Lions? four points to trim their deficit to 34-19.

Teague put away the evening?s distractions enough in the final eight minutes to put up 13 points to Riesel?s six and pull away to the 47-25 win to complete its 12-game undefeated run through the 23-2A round robin schedule.

The Lady Lions attempted just six free throws the entire contest and connected on four of them while turning the ball over only nine times during the game.

From behind the arc, Teague was 5-of-15 (33%) with Collins connecting on all three of her attempts and Guerrero and Watson also scoring from long range.

Inside the 3-point line, the Lady Lions were 14-of-47 (30%).

Collins had another impressive outing for Teague as she led all scorers with 13 points, handed out eight assists and collected three rebounds, a steal and a block. Abram was just a basket behind as she finished with yet another double-double by scoring 11 points and pulling down 16 rebounds while also blocking three shots.

Others scoring for the Lady Lions were Guerrero and Watson with seven points each, Nelms (6 points), Danielle McWilliams (2) and Burrell (1).

Guerrero led the defensive charge for Teague by collecting eight steals and six rebounds while Nelms, McWilliams, Watson, Abbey Hurst and Busby also pulled down boards for the Lady Lions.

Others credited for steals for Teague in the contest were Watson, Hurst, Burrell and Busby while Guerrero, Watson and Hurst all had assists while Kirby Cooper also contributed to the win for the Lady Lions.

(Complete statistics for each Teague game and season totals can be found at www.maxpreps.com).

LADY LION NOTES: The four Teague seniors, Kali Crowhurst, Haley Guerrero, Sibyl Burrell and Kyera Abram, were all recognized before the game against Riesel on Senior Night and presented a framed action photo taken by Teague ISD teacher Melissa Johnson.

By virtue of their district championship, Teague will draw a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will face the winner of a Bi-District matchup between the runner-up of 22-2A and the third-place team from 21-2A. Teague?s Area-Round game will take place on one of three dates from February 14-16 at a location to be determined later.

The Lady Lions were slated to travel to Class 3A Ferris on Tuesday evening, February 5 for a non-district game before traveling to The University of Texas at Tyler on Saturday, February 9 where they will play Malakoff at 7:00 pm in a playoff warm-up game.

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