The Jourdanton Squaws had to play a perfect game to upset the Columbus Lady Cardinals.
Jourdanton (10-10) nearly did just that, but fell agonizingly short in a 32-29 loss on Thursday, Feb. 11, in the bi-district round of playoffs. Jourdanton led 17-14 at halftime and held a lead as big as five points on two separate occasions in Thursday’s game.
“I think we played with a lot of heart. You can tell how bad we wanted it,” Head Coach Ariana Foster said. “I think everybody stepped up and played to their best potential. You could tell how bad they wanted it, how bad they wanted to get past the first round.”
Part of the game plan to pull off the upset on Thursday night for Jourdanton was to win the turnover battle. Jourdanton forced Columbus into 17 turnovers while only committing 13. They were just unable to get points off the turnovers when it counted most.
Jourdanton was held to to just two points in the third quarter while Columbus’ Karlee Mathis hit a three-pointer with 18 seconds left in the third to give Columbus their first lead since the 4:24 mark in the second quarter.
“I think we put a lot of pressure on them and that’s really what we had to do,” Foster said. “We just couldn’t finish after that.”
The other key for Jourdanton to stun the Cardinals was to get going from beyond the three-point line. Senior shooting guard Mia Lopez helped Jourdanton do that by hitting all three of their three-pointers. Two of those shots gave Jourdanton a lead and the third helped cut it to a one-point game with 40 seconds left in the contest.
“Those first shots I put up, I knew I was going to heat up,” Lopez said. “After that, I got my rhythm and was hot.”
Lopez finished with a team-high 11 points. The senior wanted to prove that Jourdanton could beat anyone.
“I think it was just me trying to prove that we got here for a reason and we can win, no matter what,” Lopez added.
Emma Dorroh played one of her best defensive games of the season, blocking five shots and hauling in 15 rebounds to go with eight points on the offensive side. The junior power forward was able to be a physical defender because the refs were letting the teams play. Only 19 fouls were called in Thursday’s game.
“It kinda got me a little excited because we normally can’t go up and make those plays,” Dorroh said. “We did really well together as a team. We pushed really hard. Getting those blocks, it really amped me up and I tried to get the team up.”
Jourdanton is set to lose three seniors from this year’s team, including starters Lopez and point guard Emma Roach. After Thursday’s game, the seniors hope their teammates filling their shoes during the 2021-2022 campaign see they have the potential to go further than the bi-district round.
“It makes me really proud, knowing that next year they’ll step up and fill the positions they’re losing when me and Mia graduate,” Roach said. “They can accomplish anything they want to next season.”