Burnet stuns Lady Bulldogs
Feb. 18, 2012 at 3:04 a.m.
Updated Feb. 17, 2012 at 8:18 p.m.
BASTROP - For most of the season, the Yoakum Lady Bulldogs ran roughshod through opponents, dominated District 28-3A and were ranked in the Top 5 of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
But on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs had an off night when they leastcould afford to do so. Although Shardae Jones scored a game high 29 points and sank four 3-pointers, the Burnet Lady Dawgs upset No. 3 Yoakum 63-56 at the Cedar Creek gym.
The Lady Bulldogs finish the season with a 30-4 record while Burnet advances to the regional semifinals.
"It's tough because we felt like we let the whole community down," Jones said. "They expected us to go further and we didn't get that this year."
Senior post Ashtyn Henkes had 13 rebounds while senior guard Rae Rae Samuel finished with seven.
"She played well, but we didn't do well as a team and that's what matters," said Yoakum coach Shawn Griffin.
Friday marked the first time all season Yoakum lost consecutive games.
The Lady Bulldogs lost a warm up game to Poth on Monday 80-79.
Last year, Yoakum beat Burnet 47-42 in the area round of the playoff a season ago. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the regional semifinals in Theresa Boening's final season as coach.
Early on the Lady Bulldogs showed why they finished the season ranked No. 3 and anticipated making a long playoff run. Jaccarri Hights' put-back sparked an 8-1 Yoakum run in the first three minutes of play.
Burnet closed the first quarter on a 12-5 run and seized control of the game. Although Yoakum would come back to lead on two other occasions, the Lady Dawgs scored on the ensuing possessions to take the lead back.
"We just didn't hit shots tonight that we normally do and we just didn't play defense tonight that we normally do," Henkes said. Burnet led 45-42 coming into the fourth quarter and let their defense and rebounding hold the lead the final eight minutes.
Yoakum hit just 4-of-15 (26 percent) in the final frame and had a field goal drought of nearly three minutes between Jones buckets late in the fourth quarter.
"They play good man-to-man pressure defense," Griffin said. "They deny you the ball."
Yoakum was outrebounded 26-20, but three crucial ones helped seal the game late for Burnet.
With 1:30 remaining, Burnet's Hillary Foster came up with rebounds off free throw misses by Kati Maldonado and Leah Cotton to help the Lady Dawgs keep possession and extend their lead to 58-51 with 1:15 remaining.
After Foster was fouled with 30 seconds remaining, Taryn Rosow rebounded a Foster miss from the charity strip and Cotton was fouled on the ensuing possession. She hit both shots to give Burnet a 63-56 lead with 44 seconds remaining and ice the game for Burnet.
"The rebounds killed us," Blakeney said. "Every time we fouled them, they scored so it was tough to keep up."
Added Griffin: "If you do that, you're going to have a tough time winning at this level."
Maldonado led the Lady Dawgs with 22 points while Cotton added 16.
Friday marked the final time six senior Lady Bulldogs, including Shervante Caldwell who scored two points, would suit up.
Griffin praised the group for their work and helping make the transition easier for the first year coach.
"They mean a whole lot to this program," Griffin said. "I wish I had them another year or two."