It's been decades, if ever, that Fort Worth North Side has reached the playoffs in girls basketball.
The Steers are battling for the fourth and final seed out of District 6-4A, but their playoff hopes took a hit Friday night in a 47-23 home loss to Saginaw Boswell (20-9, 10-3), which tightened its grip on the third playoff spot.
North Side (15-12, 7-7) coach Dwayne Stevens calls his team scrappy, and early on they showed it.
Boswell senior guard Alyson Clark hit consecutive 3-pointers to put the Pioneers up 23-8 late in the second quarter. The Steers fought back to make the score 23-16 with an 8-0 run that stretched between the second and third quarter. But from there, Boswell used a 19-0 run in the third quarter to put the game away.
North Side played much of third quarter without leading scorer Neomi Payta, who was on the bench with four fouls.
"Without her presence in the game, we lose out on size, we lose out on rebounding," Stevens said.
Payta paced the Steers with 17 points. Angela Vargas pitched in with five.
Clark led Boswell with 11 points, while junior Victoria Seay had seven.
Stevens admits the recent attention given to the team has probably had an impact.
"Our girls know what's at stake," he said. "When you haven't won in a long time sometimes losing can become contagious until you learn how to win. We've learned how to win some games this year. Really, we're in the playoffs now."
Despite the setback, Payta is trying to make sure her team remains positive and looks ahead.
"It's now the past game, it's just another game," she said. "We try to work hard and look ahead to prepare ourselves for the next game rather than look back at the game we lost."
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