Lady Jaguars pleased with showing in Spring Creek Invitational

12/30/2013 12:00 AM

12/29/2013 11:42 AM

Mansfield ISD schools hosted the annual Spring Creek Barbecue Invitational basketball tournament this past weekend, bringing together an impressive collection of 32 local and regional girls basketball programs. None of the local teams was able to take advantage of the home court advantage, as Austin-area powerhouse Pflugerville held off Flower Mound Marcus for the tournament title.

Timberview had the best showing of MISD teams, officially finishing fourth following a 51-47 loss to Arlington Bowie in the third-place game. Summit was the only other Mansfield school in the winners bracket. The Lady Jaguars officially finished eighth in the field, but more importantly, head coach Tammy Lusinger saw some of the things she wanted to see from her team in its final tournament before diving into the main stretch of district play.

“We lost a tournament due to the ice storm, so I was able to get some kids in that I hadn’t been able to get in and saw some good things,” she said.

Lusinger felt the tournament ended on a sour note, with a 37-34 loss to Canyon in the seventh-place game, but was more interested in the play than the results.

“I was really pleased with how we competed against Aledo, who is very good, and North Shore, so I’m happy with that.”

The Lady Jaguars entered the winners’ bracket with a 65-47 win over Grapevine, but lost a hard-fought battle to Aledo, 40-38, sending them to the consolation rounds. There, Summit picked up wins over Galena Park North Shore and Har-Ber (Ark.) before falling to Canyon.

“Hopefully, the kids come out of this a lot mentally tougher and a lot more confident and with a lot better chemistry,” Lusinger said.

Lusinger noted that senior post Destiny Strange had a strong tournament and was the physical presence in the paint and on the boards that she’s been looking for. She also praised the play of freshman guard Amber Dixon and junior guard Taylor Jones.

“I feel like we’re closer to where we need to be to make a good run in district,” Lusinger added. “I felt early on I wasn’t so happy sometimes with the lack of physicality on the boards, but I’m starting to see a lot more of that, so that’s pleasing.”

Timberview appeared to have third place wrapped up with a 12-point lead on Bowie in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Wolves went cold down the stretch and Bowie closed the game on a 14-0 run for the victory. Timberview lost its semifinal matchup with Marcus, 55-54, but previously the Lady Wolves had an impressive showing in their 54-47 win over area-ranked Irving MacArthur. Timberview also dominated Cabot (Ark.) and Lakeview Centennial in earlier rounds.

Senior guard Terrielle Bradley’s play earned her a place on the all-tournament team.

Mansfield picked up a lone win against Arlington Lamar, but suffered losses to Amarillo, Crowley and Grapevine.

Legacy lost its first two games against Stony Point and Stephenville before defeating College Park. The Lady Broncos closed the tournament with a 52-39 loss to Lamar.

Lake Ridge also lost its first two games, versus North Shore and Crowley. But the Lady Eagles closed the tournament on a positive, earning consecutive victories over Kennedale and John Paul II.

The Spring Creek Barbecue Invitational is known for its quality of teams and play, and once again showed why. Seven of the eight quarterfinalists – with Timberview being the lone exception – entered the tournament ranked in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state poll.

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