Lady Bears achieve last-second win over Seguin

Lady Bears achieve last-second win over Seguin
DAN SHERRARD/ "” Donning new warmup outfits, the La Vernia Lady Bears get the blood pumping before their Dec. 5 game against Seguin.

The La Vernia Lady Bears fought their way back from a deficit Dec. 5 for an exciting 54-52 victory over the Seguin Lady Matadors.

Something just wasn’t clicking in the first half -- particularly in the second quarter.

“We got out of rhythm,” said second-year Head Coach Kyle Sivadon. “We were getting frustrated because our shots weren’t going in.”

Seguin proved itself a tough competitor in the first quarter, sinking a defiant three-pointer at the buzzer to tie things up 14-14. But as they continued to pick up the pace, the Lady Bears underwent a dry spell that led to a disheartening 25-16 score going into halftime.

“We’ve been the cardiac kids pretty much the whole year -- starting off slow,” Sivadon said.

Things began to turn around in the third quarter, however, and La Vernia closed the gap to 39-34.

“Defense has been the big thing all year,” Sivadon said. “We were able to get some steals and get the offense going.”

Junior Heaven Muenster took charge of the scoreboard at the start of the final quarter, adding in a couple of spin moves to the enjoyment of the crowd.

Senior Lady Bear Lily Janek stepped in to add a few more baskets. Fresh off of an injury that kept her out of play all last week, Janek stole the ball right back after a Muenster jump shot, putting up 2 points to tie the game. She then drew a foul with 2 seconds left on the clock to seal La Vernia’s 54-52 victory.

“It would have been easy for them to give up,” Sivadon said. “Nothing was going our way the whole game, but they kept playing.”

Some credit for the last-quarter victory goes to the girls’ conditioning program, he added. To his eyes, they’ve been in better shape than every team they’ve played so far.

“Fourth quarters have been huge,” Sivadon said. “We try to do about two miles in each practice, so that in cases like this we can get runs late and still be in shape.”

Whatever they’re doing, it’s starting to pay dividends. Their district is one of only two in the state with three teams in the Top 25 of the Texas Girls Coaches Association basketball poll.

Before the game, both Veterans Memorial and Navarro topped La Vernia, who had only recently made the Class 4A list at No. 25. This week’s new poll has the Lady Bears above both of their district rivals at No. 11.

There are still rough waters ahead in the regular schedule, however. La Vernia’s ultimate test before district play will come in the form of Class 6A Churchill on Dec. 22.

“The Churchill game is going to be our measuring point right before Christmas to see where we’re at,” Sivadon said.

The Lady Bears (16-2) went undefeated last weekend at the Dec. 7-9 Bishop Invitational tournament, beating out Santa Rosa, San Diego, Aransas Pass, and La Feria. They take on the Bandera Lady Bulldogs Dec. 15 in La Vernia.