Senior Sarah Bernal (15) scores the first Lady Eagles basket of the game Monday night against Crystal City.

Lady Javelinas use momentum swing to power past Pleasanton

DILLEY—The importance of momentum in sports is amplified in the postseason. Monday night, Crystal City took momentum into halftime and brought it back out for the third quarter.

The Lady Javelinas rode that wave to a 55-41 bi-district playoff win over Pleasanton at Dilley High School.

After trailing by as many as seven in the opening quarter, the Lady Eagles tied the game at 18 on Aubrey Guerra’s jumper with under two minutes to go in the first half. Klaudia Contreras answered with a 3-pointer for Crystal City, which also made a devastating bucket at the buzzer.

Inbounding on the Pleasanton baseline with 1.5 seconds before the break, the Lady Javelinas found a wide-open Eileen Ruiz for a jump shot as time expired. Crystal City carried that momentum into the second half, outscoring the Lady Eagles 16-3 after Guerra’s tying bucket for a 34-21 lead midway through the third period.

“I think the momentum that Crystal City took into the halftime break kind of got in our heads a bit,” Pleasanton coach Daryl Rentfro said. “We tried to refocus them and focus on the next quarter, but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”

Contreras played a big role in sustaining the Lady Javelinas. The senior had 18 of her game-high 27 points in the second half.

“She’s quick as a cat,” Rentfro said. “We tried to tell our girls just to stay in front of her. She’s been a varsity player, I believe, since she was a freshman, and it shows.”

Pleasanton also had its troubles on the offensive end, shooting 2 of 10 from the field with six turnovers as Crystal City outscored the Lady Eagles 20-10 in the third quarter. Pleasanton’s lone buckets were a pair of 3-pointers by Guerra, who finished with a team-high 18 points.

“We were attacking the basket fairly well, it’s just that shots didn’t fall,” Rentfro said.

The game ended the first season with Rentfro at the helm, a year he said had its “ups and downs.”

“We found growth through the whole season, something we can definitely build upon next year and going forward,” he said. “The senior class laid a pretty good foundation for us. I wish them the best. That’s kind of building that legacy starting this year.”