By BRAD KEITH
The annual district contest at Goldthwaite is typically one of the tougher road treks of the season for the Hico girls.
But this, of course, is not your typical Hico girls team.
The Lady Tigers mauled Goldthwaite 50-30 behind 15 points and seven rebounds from Marissa Warren and the collection of 11 points, eight steals and five boards by Sydney Polk. Shelby Polk also scored 11.
The victory came on the heels of a 67-22 blowout of Meridian in which Shiloh O’Bannen poured in 21 points and Lauryl Stegall stuffed the stat sheet full of 14 points, eight boards, eight steals and five assists. Warren scored 12.
Stegall said he can’t confirm the win streak is a school record, but agreed it is most likely the case.
“I’ve never had a team like this so I haven’t ever bothered to even track it,” the coach said. “I’ve had some good groups, but this I think is the best I’ve had.”
He expects the same playoff route as last year, when Hico faced Petrolia and Meunster before falling to Windthorst. If it indeed lays out that way and if Hico can get over the Windthorst hump, No. 1 Martin’s Mill would likely be the next in line.
“It won’t be easy, but when you’re talking about going that deep in the playoffs it isn’t supposed to be easy,” said Stegall. “We just have to play our best basketball at the right time.”
That’s why he’s added a game to the schedule, filling an idle date on the final Friday of the regular season with a trip to Abilene Wylie a longtime power Conference 4A power about to move into 5A. First the Lady Tigers complete District 10-2A with Ranger, Santo and their annual trip to Hamilton. The magic number – any number of HIco wins combined with Hamilton losses – is two for the Lady Tigers to repeat as outright 10-2A champs.
“Going to Hamilton could be tough, but I know going to Wylie will be, and that’s what we need,” said Stegall. “And I think we can win there with this group, but we’ll see. We’ll treat it like a playoff practice game and hopefully it will get us ready.”
Photos courtesy MAAIKE’S SPORT PHOTOGRAPHY