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Goliad clinches share of district title (w/gallery)

By MIKE FORMAN
Jan. 28, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

Goliad's Sydney Morris is tripped up by Refugio's Laterrian Perkins as she drives the ball toward the basket during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game at the Goliad Events Center. The Tigerettes defeated the Lady Cats 34-33.

GOLIAD - McCalley Cunningham didn't play in the first half, but she was ready when she checked into the game.

"In the second half, as my coach said, 'You might have a big moment,' and he kind of foreshadowed what was going to happen," the Goliad senior said. "It was kind of fun. It prepared me mentally to think I could do something."

Cunningham pulled down a rebound, made the follow shot and converted a free throw with 14.33 seconds left in the fourth quarter to rally the Tigerettes to a 34-33 District 30-2A win over Refugio on Tuesday night at the Goliad Events Center.

Cunningham's three-point play helped Goliad (17-11, 11-1) rally from a five-point deficit and clinch at least a share of the district title and the top seed in the playoffs.

"I told her at halftime," said Goliad coach John Reyes. "I said, 'Be ready to go. You don't always get in in the first half, but a lot of the times, you come in the second half, and you have big minutes.' It couldn't have proven more big right there. She got a good rebound and was able to get the shot up, got fouled and made the free throw, so that was huge."

Goliad went 9:50 in the second half without a field goal and saw a three-point advantage at the end of the third quarter disappear.

Refugio (19-6, 9-3) opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 32-27 lead on Kaitlyn Williams' second consecutive jumper with 4:28 remaining.

"I felt we couldn't buy a bucket all game long," Reyes said. "That's what's been happening to us lately. We haven't been shooting the ball lately, but we're making baskets in the end when they count. We're squeaking through and pulling games out."

The Tigerettes forced a pair of turnovers before Cunningham was able to convert under the basket.

"It was crazy," Cunningham said. "I don't know what happened. It was just a random play. I saw that I had a chance to get a rebound, and I shot, and it went in."

Refugio's Morgan Klaevemann was fouled on a drive to the basket with 8.2 seconds left and made one of two free throws, but Goliad got the rebound and was able to run out the clock.

"We didn't rebound like we should have," said Refugio coach David Hemphill. "We had our chances on their misses. If we had done a little better job of rebounding, we would have been all right."

Jackie Gonzalez scored 13 points, and Klaevemann had 10 to pace the Lady Cats. Sydney Morris led the Tigerettes with 13 points.

"It was kind of scary that we could actually lose this and be in trouble," Cunningham said. "We've had a lot of games like this, and we've pulled it out. We did it, and we had faith in our team to do it."

Goliad 54, Refugio 52

GOLIAD - Dalton Sturm made one free throw with 15.08 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Goliad held off Refugio 54-52 in a District 30-2A game Tuesday night at the Goliad Events Center.

The Bobcats (6-7, 3-6) had a chance to tie the game, but Anfernee Friar's runner in the lane rolled off the rim, and Goliad (24-5, 7-3) pulled down the rebound.

"I thought we were kind of flat, to tell you the truth," said Goliad coach David Kelley. "I've got to give Refugio a lot of credit. I felt like we didn't play like we have been playing. We usually play pretty fast, and we didn't tonight."

The Tigers (24-5, 7-3) lost three starters - two to injury and one for academic reasons - and used seven players but did a good job on the offensive boards.

"That saved us," Kelley said. "We did crash the boards. We weren't making shots, so we had to get some offensive rebounds."

Dravian Duncan scored 18 points, and Sturm had 12 to pace Goliad. Friar scored 17 points, James Durst had 13, and Travis Quintanilla added 12 for Refugio.

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