Slocum Advances to Regional Finals
By Will Johnson
AUSTIN – The Slocum Lady Mustangs were looking for a return trip to San Antonio after last year’s visit to the Alamo City. Their journey thus far had led them to the Regional Tournament in Austin where they were scheduled to face the Nueces Canyon Lady Panthers in the Regional Semifinals.
When the final buzzer sounded, Slocum had taken another step towards state after they hammered Nueces Canyon by a score of 84-46 and moved on to the Regional Finals the next day.
The Lady Mustangs took control of the game early on as they raced out to a 19-4 lead after the first eight minutes of play. Slocum’s first quarter points came from Taylor Clark who dropped in nine and Jessi Ives who added six. Gina Lively and Jaidan Wickersham both added two points to help give the Lady Mustangs a lead they would never relinquish.
The Nueces Canyon points came from Paige Elliott and Megan Sifuentes with two apiece.
While the Lady Panthers offense was much better in the second quarter, so was the offense of the Lady Mustangs as they outscored Nueces Canyon by a 24-14 margin and took a 43-18 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Ives and Jalyn Fletcher paced the Lady Mustangs with five apiece. Jolie and Shelby Bowman both connected from behind the arc while four other Slocum players – Clark, Briley Evers, Libby Kessel and Laney Lasiter all had two.
The Lady Panthers were led in the second quarter by Shelby Pannell and Leslie Taylor with six apiece while Paige Elliott added a basket to close out the Nueces Canyon first half scoring.
As the second half got underway, Slocum left no doubt they were going to the next round as they inc
reased their lead to 29. Clark and Ives netted five each. Fletcher knocked down a three point bomb, Wickersham chipped in two and Evers hit one of two from the line to give the Lady Mustangs a 59-34 lead with eight minutes remaining in the contest.
Pannell led the Lady Cougars with five points in the third quarter. She was joined in the scoring column by Taylor with four and Elliott with three.
Slocum salted the game away in the fourth as they continued to keep their foot on the gas. J. Bowman connected on a pair of three-pointers as part of her eight points in the period. Clark added six more to her total, while S. Bowman, Lasiter and Lively all hit from downtown. Wickersham also added a basket to close out the Slocum scoring and help give the Lady Mustangs the 84-46 victory.
Taylor netted 10 fourth quarter points for Nueces Canyon while Sifuentes had three, Pannell had two and Tori Carbajal made one of two from the line.
For the game, Leslie Taylor led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 20 points. Shelby Pannell went for 13, Paige Elliott added seven, Megan Sifuentes had five and Tori Carbajal had one.
The Lady Mustangs were paced by Taylor Clark with a game-high 22 points. Jessi Ives went for 16 and Jolie Bowman had 11. Jalyn Fletcher knocked down eight and both Shelby Bowman along with Jaidan Wickersham had six. Laney Lasiter and Gina Lively each dropped in five while Briley Evers had three and Libby Kessel closed out the Slocum point production with two.
The win moved the Lady Mustangs into the Regional Finals where they faced the Moulton Lady Bobkatz for the right to advance to the State Tournament in San Antonio.
PHOTOS COURTESY of STEPHANIE LIMERICK
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.