Valentine JH 8th graders display awards. Pictured left to right are Jaymie Sanchez, Samantha Kuhlman, and Cecilia Corral.
Photo by Lisa Morton
By Coach Lonnie Flippen
As it is so often said, all good things must come to an end, and the Valentine Junior High Girls Basketball Season ended on Saturday, February 4 with a second place finish in the district. Oh yes, the nine game winning streak also came to an end with a very talented Balmorhea Bear’s victory over the Lady Pirates in the district championship game. The Lady Bears had beaten the Pirates by nine earlier in the year, but the Pirates had returned the favor and won by nine in the second round, only to lose by nine in the championship game.
The Lady Pirates had to face an uphill climb just to get to the championship game. Many folks around Valentine felt that the Pirates deserved a bye in the first round of the district tournament having been the only team to defeat the Lady Bears but instead the ladies had to win two games on Thursday just to have a chance to meet the Bears in the championship. The Lady Pirates rose to the occasion and defeated the hosting Lady Shorthorns from Marfa 28 to 22. Cecilia Corral led all scorers with her 14 points followed by Samantha Kuhlman with eight. Jaymie Sanchez had four and Mickey Siddiq added two.
An hour later, the Lady Pirates faced the Lady Indians from Fort Davis and defeated them by a score of 24 to 19. Jaymie Sanchez had nine points for the Pirates followed by Siddiq with 6, Corral with 5, Kuhlman with 2, and Nevaeha Mora with two. This win extended the Lady Pirates win streak to nine games and put them in position to play for the district title.
The championship game was played on Saturday afternoon in front of a large crowd in the Marfa gym and in what could only be described as a very competitive game. The Lady Pirates held a one point lead at the end of the first quarter but the Lady Bears took control of the game in the second quarter outscoring the Pirates 14 to 1. The Pirates fought back in the third quarter but the Bears held on to win 42 to 33.
The Lady Bears hit seven free throws in the game while the Pirates missed eleven shots from the line. The Lady Bears also held Cecilia Corral, the Pirate’s leading scorer in recent games, to two points by taking away the Pirates fast break. Mickey Siddiq had her best scoring game of the year hitting 15 points. Samantha Kuhlman added ten before fouling out early in the fourth quarter. Jaymie Sanchez added six points for the Pirates. Other Lady Pirates seeing playing time included Arleene Corral, Bela Oldham, and Jordan Miller. The Pirates closed out their season with a record of 11 and 4.
This was only the second season for the Lady Pirates to play as a team as they had played as a co-ed team against boy’s teams over the past few years due to lack of numbers. These young ladies can hold their heads up high knowing that they accomplished a great deal more than most people expected of them. They played with a great deal of pride and character and did a tremendous job of representing themselves, the school, and the community. Thank you girls for a great season. Let’s hope this is the first of several to come.