Lady Texans mark progress with first district win since 2011

Posted Monday, Dec. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The streak stood at 30 games for the Northwest girls basketball program. That’s how many consecutive district games the Lady Texans had lost until Dec. 17 at Haltom.

Coming off a mind-numbing 44-41 loss to Keller Fossil Ridge, head coach Rusty Johnson wasn’t sure how this team would respond. Trailing by as many as nine in the second half, Northwest put together a strong third quarter and made clutch plays in the final minute to pull out a 38-37 victory. Northwest had not won a district game since beating Keller Central in the final game of the 2010-2011 season.

Alexis Brigham scored the game-winning field goal with 14 seconds to play. Haltom never got a shot off on its final possession. These are important steps for a program continuing to learn how to win.

The victory was short-lived. Northwest (6-7, 1-3 in District 4-5A) endured a humbling 58-23 loss to Carroll on Friday before the Christmas break started.

“I was really concerned about where we were going to be,” Johnson said of the Haltom game. “There wasn’t the same energy. And I didn’t see the fire. But they grew up. We executed some inbounds plays and set plays and found a way to win.

“A win like the Haltom win is huge because it validated what I said about them being able to compete.”

And for a change, the Lady Texans had the crowd with them. As the boys were preparing to play Haltom, the gym filled and the excitement grew in the final minutes. That energy from their supporters likely helped this team reach the finish line.

Every moment is teachable

As difficult as Friday was against the Lady Dragons, Johnson said he saw effort from opening tip to final buzzer. The reality is that he doesn’t have a program that’s ready to compete with the likes of Carroll. But that’s something that he hopes will develop over time.

“I was proud of the way we competed and the way we represented the school and that we didn’t quit,” Johnson said. “But we’re not where [Carroll] is. Carroll suddenly didn’t become good because its players put green and white uniforms on. Those players did a lot of work behind the scenes to put themselves in that position. The only way we’re going to get good is to come back to the next practice.”

They meet again

Both Northwest and Byron Nelson are in the Saginaw Boswell tournament that starts Thursday. The two schools are in the same bracket. If they win their first games, they would play each other. It would be the second meeting ever. The two met in 2012-2013 and Nelson won, 50-28. The two schools will share the same Class 6A district when the realignment is released in February.

Byron Nelson update

The Lady Bobcats (13-3, 3-1 in District 5-4A) hope they are coming out their scoring funk. They scored 25 and 30 points in consecutive district games and know they are fortunate to be 1-1 in them. But the offense came alive against Lake Dallas last Friday in a 61-51 victory. Sydney Smallwood scored 23 points while transfer post Dakesha Butler added 13.

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