“People underestimate us as a team because of what we went through early this season. We had six players to start this season, it just says a lot about us the way that everyone has banded together. We’re finally healthy and we’re starting to get all the way back.”
Seven Lakes feels underrated.
The Spartans dealt with things early in the season, with injuries keeping Seven Lakes from getting off to a hot start in district play.
But things changed once the second half of district rolled around, the Spartans were back healthy and the players had started to build chemistry and a rapport with each other.
The Spartans have turned a new leaf and battled their way back into playoff contention and continued to play better ball, and the team had its best game of the season Friday, as they beat Katy 58-39 to become the first District 19-6A team this season to defeat the Tigers.
“People underestimate us as a team because of what we went through early this season,” said junior forward Justice Carlton. “It’s just all the things we went through this year and the perspective we have from it that has made us a better team. We had six players to start this season, it just says a lot about us the way that everyone has banded together. We’re finally healthy and we’re starting to get all the way back.”
It was a game that was important for both sides, as Katy was closing in on an undefeated district title, while Seven Lakes was trying to keep their spot at third in the district standings and come a step closer to securing a playoff berth.
It was a back and forth contest from the start, with Katy going ahead 16-11 after the first quarter, but Seven Lakes coming back to tie things up at 26 heading into halftime.
Behind Carlton, who finished the game with 33 points, the Spartans started to find their groove in the second half, the Spartans jumped out to a 10-point lead in the third quarter, and withstood a Katy comeback to still lead 38-36 heading into the final quarter of the game. And from there, Seven Lakes controlled things to finish with a win and take a huge step towards clinching a playoff berth.
“We just had to play to our speed, and after the first quarter we really started doing that better,” said junior point guard Shreya Jategaonkar. “They wanted to press us and get us uncomfortable, but we just played fast, got out on the break, found open players and played our game. It was great for us to get past that and keep pushing and show what we could do against a team of this caliber. We know that we could do some special things when we play like this.”
The win also ended Katy’s 22 game win streak, including a streak where the Tigers had not lost in district play all season, although the Tigers still clinched a district championship. But the Spartans work isn’t done, as they know how important it would be to clinch a third seed in the playoffs with a win over Cinco Ranch in the teams regular season finale on Tuesday.
“I’m so excited and so proud of this group,” said Seven Lakes head coach Angela Spurlock. “I’ve been waiting a long time and they’ve been waiting a long time for us to put together a complete team performance like this. This team has waited, they’ve been patient, they haven’t given up on themselves and they’ve raised their level because they’ve had to. That’s a tough Katy team, it doesn’t get tougher than that and I love these games and the way we responded, but the jobs not done.”
Seven Lakes 58, Katy 39
Points: (SL) Justice Carlton 33, Madison Carlton 8, Shreya Jategaonkar 7, Lenore Hudspeth 5, Caitlyn Quintero 3, Calianna Calbo 2; (K) Lyric Barr 19, Nyla Wold 12, Ashlynn Alexander 6, Brianna Nelson 2;
Halftime: 26-26; 3-Pointers: (SL) Hudspeth; (K) Barr 2, Alexander; Records: Seven Lakes: 19-13, 10-5; Katy: 28-2, 14-1;
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