Lady Mules vs. Tulia (2-10-15)
The Lady Mules out gunned the Tulia Lady Hornets 57-42 to put a pleasant end to the regular season Tuesday night. The second and fourth periods proved to be the undoing of the Hornets.
The Lady Mules had clinched the fourth spot in the District 1-3A race. And a playoff appearance had already been scheduled in Floydada Monday night against the Childress Lady Cats before the Lady Mules boarded the bus to Tulia.
“Tonight certainly has all the makings of a trap for us,” said Lady Mule coach Carey Sudduth prior to Tuesday nights game. “We have nothing to lose and Tulia has everything to gain.”
“It is going to be very hard for our girls to not be thinking forward to the meeting with Childress. And this is a very dark gym in which to play.”
Almost everything in the Tulia Hornet gym seems to eat what little lighting is provide by the few overhead mercury bulbs . It contains a dark wood floor as well as everything in sight seems to be painted maroon.
But the Lady Mules shook off most of the distractions after the opening period and clamped on a tight defense that prevented the Hornets from scoring many points in the second and fourth periods.
The first quarter was very close and it appeared as all of Coach Sudduth’s fears were about to unfold for his Lady Mules.
Conley Niblett controlled the paint in the first period and scored the Lady Mules’ first points with an assist from Shanice Rosas. Niblett continued to patrol the paint and put back a pair of offensive rebounds.
Dani Diaz dropped in a trey and later added a free throw in the opening period. Sydnie Sudduth finished a fast break and Sadie Sudduth contributed a pair of free throws. But the Lady Mules were trailing the Hornets 15-14 when the buzzer sounded to end the first period.
Madison Hoelting had led the Hornets with three treys and a hoop for 11 points in the opening quarter. The Lady Mules held Hoelting to a single point and the Hornets to just six points in the second quarter.
D. Diaz opened the second quarter with a long distance lay up as she scooped up the ball eight feet from the hoop. Niblett continued to dominate around the hoop and scored three times. She put back an offensive rebound, got a second assist from Rosas and drained a shot from the elbow. Niblett also chipped in a free throw.
Yvonne Diaz got an assist from D. Diaz to finish a fast break. Reagan Reynolds chipped in a free throw and then sank a 3-pointer from the wing. The Lady Mule had built a 29-21 lead by the half.
The Hornets came out fired up in the third period and pumped in 17 points but could only trim a single point off the Lady Mule lead.
Sy. Sudduth cranked the Lady Mule offense in the second quarter with a jump shot from the elbow. Sa. Sudduth nailed a pair of treys. D. Diaz hit from just inside the arc and later broke through the back door for a hoop with an assist from Angie Perez.
Rosas and Niblett both stuck back an offensive rebound as the Lady Mules almost matched the Hornets with 16 points in the third period.
Tulia only found the basket twice in the final period of the regular season for four points.
D. Diaz almost matched the Hornets out put in the final period with a 3-pointer from the left wing. She added a pair of free throws and hit from near the free-throw line for seven points in the quarter.
Sy. Sudduth dropped in a trey from the top of the key and Niblett scored in the paint to finish a 12-point period for the Lady Mules.
D. Diaz and Niblett led the Lady Mules with 17 points each. Sa. Sudduth finished with eight points and Sy. Sudduth had seven points. Reynolds made all four of her points in the second period. Y. Diaz and Rosas chipped in two points each.
The very young Lady Mules finished the regular season with a record of 13-13 and 4-6 for fourth place in District 2-3A. They averaged scoring almost 48 points a game and gave up 44 points per game.
“We had a great year,” continued Coach Sudduth after the game. “They have come to work every day since August with a smile on their faces and they love basketball. It is a special group of girls who truly enjoy each other and playing together.”
“They are almost to unselfish at times but that is not a bad trait to have.”