Lady Tigers close out with victory
While the Rockdale Lady Tigers season ended much sooner than they intended, the program took a giant leap forward by posting some impressive numbers.
The Lady Tigers KO’d Caldwell 52-17 Tuesday night in the season finale at Tiger Gymnasium to complete the prog ra m’s be st se a son i n almost a decade.
Rockdale finishes 17-13 overall and 4-6 in District 23-3A play.
The 17 victories represents the most by a Tiger squad since Janet Havelka’s team went 20-9 in 2005.
“We were trying to play well and give the seniors a great sendoff,” said Rockdale Coach Liz Galloway McQuitter, who completed her fifth season as coach. “It’s bittersweet, but they’re celebrating a winning season.”
Play ing in her f inal game, senior Victoria Drake came out of the locker room in earnest and led Rockdale with 15 points, including all nine Lady Tiger points in the first quarter.
Freshman guard Velma Mitchell, who is responsible for a lot of Rockdale’s resurgence, chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Caldwell—which had a single field goal in the second half—ends up 3-30 and 0-10.
Guard Emily Engelmann had 13 of Caldwell’s 17 points, including all eight of the Lady Hornets total in the first half.
“I don’t think many people realize that breaking the bonds of losing is the real victory,” McQuitter said. “ These girls had to learn how to win in basketball because we have not won during their time in school.”
The Lady Tigers entered the contest with the No. 9 ranked Lady Buffs (30-5, 9-0) as a mustwin affair, but came away empty handed, 59-39, on the road, thus elminating them from playoff contention.
Rockdale fell behind 31-17 at intermission and 45- 21 after three and could not recover, despite a strong 18-point fourth quarter.
Mitchell sparked Rockdale with 20 points, while also grabbing seven rebounds, three blocks and a pair of steals.
TIGER TRACKS: Mitchell’s 474 season points is one of the top performances in Rockdale history. Angela White holds the record with 626 in 1978... The Tigers had 52 three pointers—all by Mitchell... The Lady Tigers lose six seniors including Drake, Young, Ginny Flores, A rlene Ramos and Keyanna Russell. Drake and Young were starters. “My second thoughts go to this group of seniors,” Galloway said. “They were eigth graders when I first started coaching here. It has been so rewarding to witness their evolution as players, but mainly as young women. They are good citizens, great students and they have been a joy to coach.
Tuesday’s results: Rockdale 52, Caldwell 17; Navasota 77, Giddings 76; LaGrange 37, Smithville 29.
Friday’s results: Giddings 59, Rockdale 39; Smithville 43, Navasota 39 (OT) ;LaGrange 65, Caldwell 43.
LADY TIGER SEASON STATS
Rebounds: Mitchell 5.6, Evans 4.5
Assists: Henderson 3.2, Drake 1.5
FG%: Evans 46, Young 40
FT%: Drake 63, Mitchell 57
3PTS: Mitchell 52
Steals: Mitchell 92, Drake 57