COTULLA — A big second quarter helped the Jourdanton Squaws down Cotulla 53-30 and clinch their second consecutive District 30-3A title.
The title has come on the heels of well-executed gameplans for the Squaws (18-9, 10-0 as of Wednesday). That’s something head coach Ariana Foster takes pride in.
“I’m super proud of them. They’ve been working really hard,” Foster said. “So, I feel it’s something they deserve. It was a goal we set last year, a goal we set this year, being district champs. It’s just a really good feeling to be back-to-back district champs.”
For the Squaw seniors, the second title helps validate the work they started putting in all the way back in junior high.
“It’s definitely been an amazing season,” senior point guard Vanessa Vacca said. “It shows all the hard work we’ve been putting in from the moment we started back in junior high to our last games of our senior year. It’s definitely something we’ve strived for every single day of every single year. It’s such a big accomplishment to get that.”
But the game started slow. Jourdanton trailed 4-2 with 4:20 left in the first quarter.
Behind a three-pointer from junior Emma Roach and four points from Gwyn Wells, the Squaws rallied for an 8-0 run to close the quarter and lead 10-4. That run would grow to 11-0 to start the second quarter.
“We kinda came together [in the first] and were like, ‘Look, guys. We’ve gotta change something. It’s not working,’” senior Shyanne Bauerle said. “So, the seniors gave a stern talkingto and it turned out really good with that 11-0 run.”
They never looked back after that, leading the rest of the way and holding a 20-point advantage for most of the second half.
“Finding our rhythm in the first quarter is something we’ve been struggling with the past season,” Vacca said. “It’s also something we’ve gotten better at picking it up a little faster. It’s just a little tougher any time you’re away from home. I think that’s what got to us today, having that district game and it being so important, and it being here in Cotulla.”
Vacca was the lone Squaw to finish in double figures with 13 points, but she wasn’t alone in being productive to help Jourdanton stay atop 30-3A.
“She’s done a great job leading the team all year, whether it’s by example, on the court or off the court,” Foster said of her point guard. “She’s shown great leadership all year. I think tonight, she really just stepped up and showed it’s late in the season, we’re going to go on this playoff run we want. She just led by example all night.”
Bauerle had eight points to go along with three rebounds in the physical game. Macey Briones and Emma Roach each had seven points.
Heading into playoffs, the Squaws are confident they can notch their first playoff win in 26 years. They’ve made it to the area round in that time as benefactors of district champs receiving byes in the first round of playoffs..
“Last year, we were in this position and we didn’t get past the first round,” Foster said. “We’re hoping to make it past the first round and make a run. For it to be our year, I think we’re athletic enough, skilled enough for us to [win]. We just need to do it.”
Jourdanton closed out the season with a 61-12 win at home against Natalia on Tuesday. Bauerle led the way with 16 points. Vacca had 15 and Emma Dorroh had 14 as the Squaws finished their district slate with a perfect 10-0 record.
The Squaws will square off with the fourth place finisher in District 29-3A, George West, on Monday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. at McMullen County High School in Tilden.
Note: This story was updated digitally to reflect Jourdanton’s results from Tuesday.