In the week ending Dec. 17, the Bandera High School Lady Bulldogs played a lot of basketball, winning a game against Marion to start off, going 2-2 in a weekend tournament in Devine and ending with a defeat to Mason.
Kristin Salas was named to the All Tournament team in Devine.
Bandera started its Dec. 10 game against Marion with exceptional defense as a team, causing Marion to turn over the ball several times while scoring 12 points in the first quarter.
Behind scoring by Anna Guajardo, Breanna Stimmell, Madison Leal and Liz MacNeil the Lady Bulldogs had a seven-point lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs had the lead cut down by Marion and went into half-time tied 20-20.
But after the half, Salas and Stimmell came out with the hot hand, scoring 10 points each and leading Bandera to a season high of scoring for a single quarter of 24 points.
To finish the night, the Lady Bulldogs created more turnovers defensively leading to fast breaks and great passing down the floor.
Stimmell, who led all Bandera scorers with 22 points, capped off the fourth quarter with three layups, while Salas and Guajardo contributed to the 11-point output in the final quarter and a 55-37 win.
On Dec. 12, the Lady Bulldogs played Pleasanton and Robstown in the Devine tournament. Although both games resulted in a loss, there were several highlights along with learning moments we plan to apply in the future.
Even though Pleasanton had Salas’ number, she put up a season high 19 points in that game, including four, three-pointers.
In the third quarter, the Lady Bulldogs came out re-energized and showed exceptional defense, holding Pleasanton to one free throw.
Still, we struggled to score on the other end of the floor, and the Lady Eagles beat the Lady Bulldogs 49-32.
Bandera stepped up ready to play against Robstown in the second game in Devine.
While the Lady Bulldogs were up 23-19 at the half, Robstown came out in the second half refocused and outscored the Lady Bulldogs 12-4, allowing it to go into the final quarter up 31-27.
Even though we were executing offensively, we could not score in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Bulldogs fell 35-27.
On Dec. 13 and 14, the Lady Bulldogs finished the tournament with two wins, defeating Cole and Randolph. Outstanding team defense and consistent scoring allowed Bandera to jump ahead in both games and keep its lead.
Against Cole, the Lady Bulldogs applied pressure and created turnovers that were turned into points for a 16-4 lead after one quarter. Stimmell, Salas, Leal and Summer Haby all scored in the first.
During the second quarter the Lady Bulldogs continued to execute defensively, while Guajardo, Chelsey Graves, Leal and MacNeil all took great shots and scored. Salas and Stimmell also contributed with a three-pointer each in the second.
At the half, Bandera was up 32-15. The pressure was consistent in the second half, the scoring continued and the Lady Bulldogs dominated on the boards, allowing Bandera to pull away. Hannah Edwards made two free throws and a three- pointer, as the Lady Bulldogs beat Cole 52-30.
In the last game of the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs played Randolph and again showed dominance on the defensive end with pressure and only allowed Randolph to score two points in the first quarter.
Bandera took good shots in the second quarter and doubled its offensive output to go to halftime with an 18-9 lead.
At the half, the Lady Bulldogs were given a challenge - score at least 18 more points. Bandera almost beat the goal in the third quarter alone, scoring 15 points in the quarter for a 33-18 lead as the final quarter started.
The Lady Bulldogs continued to be aggressive in the final quarter and got Randolph into foul trouble, sending Bandera to the free throw line often.
For the game, the Lady Bulldogs shot 71 percent from the free throw line. With that performance and strong defense, Bandera won 46-31.
On Dec. 17, the Lady ‘Dogs took on the Mason Cowgirls but came up short 59-28.
Bandera began the game with great defensive stands but struggled to score off of turnovers, falling behind 16-11 after the first quarter.
Great defense limited Mason to 10 points in the second quarter, but Bandera continued to struggle offensively, scoring only two points.
After the half, the Lady Bulldogs put up a fight and limited the Cowgirls’ scoring until the last minute of the third quarter when Mason scored three, consecutive three-pointers.
That gave Mason a 47-15 lead going into the final quarter.
Playing for pride and with a great deal of determination, the Lady Bulldogs continued to fight and outscored Mason by a point in the fourth quarter, which was filled with free throws for Bandera.
Still, the Lady Bulldogs could not overcome the deficit from earlier in the game, falling 59-28.
The team takes to the road for its next three games, playing Harper on Tuesday, Dec. 31, Comfort on Jan. 3 and Pearsall on Jan. 7.
Kierstyn Dumont is Bandera High School’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball coach.