Warriors lose to Corpus Christi King 56-50
Jan. 3, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.
Something had to be done about Natalie Hessong. She kept making shots, each more devastating than the previous and the lead was getting to the point where the plucky and undersized home side might not be able to catch up.
Hessong, the shooting guard for Corpus Christi King, had a game high 23 points for the Mustangs in their victory over Victoria West on Tuesday evening.
All but four of those points were in a first quarter that wound up being the difference in King's 56-50 win. This was largely because the something to stop Hessong was not only a new tactic, but a feisty defender.
West's Allyson Dlouhy took to the task of guarding Hessong in the first quarter, and slowly but surely the Warriors clawed their way back from a deficit that was as high as 15 points at halftime.
"We manned up versus playing our zone because we weren't able to get out fast enough out of the zone," said West basketball coach Sandra Jimenez. "That's where (Hessong) killed us in the first quarter. .trying to find the right person to guard her close enough to where she didn't have time to set her feet and get that shot."
The coach said she chose the sophomore because she is bigger than seniors Emily Skipper and Sevanah Campos-Reyes. That size allowed her to at least matchup athletically with the bigger Hessong.
West (16-7) never led in the contest. Though they trailed 35-20 at halftime a quick 8-2 run to start the third quarter moved the Warriors into striking distance. Both teams traded runs in the third quarter before West tried one final assault on the insurmountable lead in the fourth.
On the evening Dlouhy finished with six points. Fellow guards Emily Skipper and Sevanah Campos-Reyes combined for 29 points in the Warriors final game before District 30-4A play begins.
Dlouhy said the biggest lessons her team can take from the loss are more ball-movement offensively and tight defensive pressure on the other end.
Positivity wouldn't hurt either. When the Warriors trailed 44-30 with two minutes left in the third quarter, Dlouhy was unfazed.
"I was thinking 14 points that is only seven shots," Dlouhy said. "Since each shot is worth two points, its easier to think like that. . I think it helped a lot because our positive attitude, which helps all the time, and it didn't allow us to get down on our mistakes."
Some of those mistakes might have been either taking low percentage shots, or missing makeable field goal attempts inside of six feet. Jimenez said her team played two good halves, but that did not equate to four complete quarters, as evidenced by the large deficits at various points in the first three quarters.
King guard Kelsie Jackson had 14 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists. Post Erin Barre also added a double-double with her 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Mustangs who improved to 13-12 on the season.
Nevertheless, Hessong's shooting and the physicality of Barre and Emily Frazier inside left West shaking their heads as they enter district play.
"I don't think it was solely Ally," Jimenez said. "I think Ally played a big part and a big role. I think it was a totally team effort. Even though she was assigned (Hessong) we still had to focus on others. I think she played a great role, but everyone showed up to play. Had it been four quarters it would have been a different story."