By N. Waddell
The Lady Lobo basketball team traveled to Globe High School over the weekend joining 13 other girls’ teams for the thirty-eighth Annual Copper Cities Basketball Tournament. The tournament had two days of pool play before bracket play started on the third day.
The Lady Lobos opened the tournament taking on a big and physical Lady Vandal team from Miami High School. The young Lobo team came out playing not the best of basketball committing many turnovers and just not able to find the basket for scores.
The Vandals used their size to control the boards on their way to a 17 to 36 win over the Lobos. Melinda Marinez led Lobo scoring with seven points followed by Cheyanne Gaona with six points. Angelica Cabrera and Devin Estrada each had two points.
After a long wait for their next game, the Lady Lobos came out cold against the Lady Sabercats of San Tan Foothills High School. The Lady Lobos again had trouble with turnovers and scoring falling behind the Sabercats at the end of the first half 5 to 18.
The Lady Lobos came out playing a tougher brand of basketball in the second half taking care of the basketball better and scoring a few more points losing to the Sabercats with a score of 15 to 35.
Ashley Cruz led Lobo scoring with six points followed by five points from Melinda Marinez. Kyana Garcia scored three points and Makayala Ramos scored one free throw.
The Lady Lobo basketball team had two very tough games scheduled the next day starting with a contest against the always tough San Carlos Lady Braves. The Lady Lobos did not back down from the Lady Braves running style playing them tough but still having a rough time getting the ball into the basket.
At the end of the first half the Lady Lobos were on the wrong side of a 10 to 19 score. The Lady Lobos continued to play tough but were no match for the running game of the Lady Braves dropping the game 21 to 36.
Devin Estrada, playing tough under the boards, led Lobo scoring with eight points. Kyana Garcia, Cheyanne Gaona and Melinda Marinez each had three points with Ashley Cruz and Makayla Ramos each scoring two points.
After another long wait between games, the Lady Lobos were facing another tough assignment in the run and gun offense of the Cibeque Lady Wildcats basketball team. The Lady Wildcats style soon came into effect running to an 11 to 30 lead at the end of the first half.
The Lady Lobos were not about to give up. They came out determined, playing good defensive basketball and finally found the basket opening giving the Lady Wildcat team all they could handle. They played like a seasoned team with good ball handling and very good team work finally going down with a 37 to 44 score. Kyana Garcia and Devin Estrada playing a huge game under the boards and controlling the Lady Wildcats running game led the Lobos with ten points apiece. Melinda Marinez popped in three three-pointers for nine points and Ashley Cruz and Cheyanne Gaona each contributed four points.
In a blind draw for bracket play positioning, the Lady Lobos drew the number 11 seed and another match-up with the Miami Lady Vandals.
A short-handed Lady Lobo team with two starters not making the trip because of prior commitments were no match for the bigger Lady Vandal team. The Lady Vandal team noticing the absence of the Lobo players took advantage of their size under the boards and hounded the young Lobo ball handlers into numerous turnovers.
The Lady Lobos did not back down giving it all they had but they were just no match for the bigger Vandal team losing the game with a lopsided 13 to 50 score. Kyana Garcia, fighting the bigger Vandals under the boards, led Lobo scoring with five points. Melinda Marinez had one three-pointer with Cheyanne Gaona and Angelica Cabrera scoring two points apiece. Makayala Ramos had one point.
The Lady Lobos went into the tournament knowing they would be underdogs for most of their games with their main objective to learn how to play as a team and to get much needed experience. They did not get into the winning column but they did what they wanted, get experience for the upcoming games and learn to play as a team.
The Lady Lobos will play the Lady Tigers of Globe High School on Tuesday Dec. 4 with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off and will be on the court again on Thursday Dec. 6 for a game against the Lady Panthers of Superior High School. Tip-off again is at 5:30 p.m.
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