NEW BRAUNFELS—Locked in a one-point game, Kendall Brock decided to take command of the Blanco offense in the second half, scoring almost half of the Lady Panthers’ points. Not bad for a player nursing a hand injury.
The senior scored 18 of her game-high 22 points after halftime as Blanco held off a furious Jourdanton rally for a 58-52 bi-district playoff win Monday night at New Braunfels High School.
“[Brock’s performance] was huge,” Blanco coach Matt Karnes said. “She, in our last district game, got knocked over and we thought she had a fractured wrist and that she was done…It’s bothering her still, so I think it took her a little while to adjust to that…I kind of figured our seniors would step up. Kendall, Madi Kneese and Skylar [Wiseman] all stepped up for us there at the end.”
What looked like a double-digit victory for the Lady Panthers got tight in the final minute. Karen Carrasco hit a 3-pointer as she was fouled with nine seconds remaining to bring the Squaws within 54-52 after a miss on the ensuing free throw. The bucket was Carrasco’s second 3-pointer during a 10-0 burst in the final 1:23.
“They can fight, and they have a lot of pride in this program,” Jourdanton coach Oma Garmon said of her team. “They believe in what we do, and when we put it all together we’re successful as a team.”
The Squaws went into halftime ahead 22-21 after leading by as many as eight in the first half. Blanco then built an eight-point lead midway through the third quarter after Brock’s second three-point play of the frame capped a 12-3 run.
“We just kind of calmed down a little bit,” Karnes said. “We were freaked out a little bit there in the first half. I don’t know if it was playoff nerves or the crowd, but it seemed like the crowd got a little louder and we kind of panicked a little bit and didn’t slow down and play our game. For a stretch in the second half, we really did a much better job of that.”
Jourdanton tied the game at 35 on Vanessa Vacca’s jumper, but the Lady Panthers led 39-35 going into the fourth quarter.
Carrasco finished with a team-best 16 points. Classmate Savannah Bronstad chipped in 12. Jourdanton got 79 percent of its scoring from its seniors, which included Destiny Powell (9) and Laney Korus (4).
“We had a lot of ups and downs,” Garmon said. “At the beginning we had injuries, illnesses, injuries again, illnesses again. It was a roller coaster ride. But just the way the girls, as a team, came together, it was a hard-working season for the Jourdanton Squaws.