The Dripping Springs Lady Tigers basketball team earned third place honors in the third annual Dripping Springs Classic after finishing the weekend with a 4-1 record.
Dripping Springs dominated both games of pool play, winning by a margin of 24 points per game.
The strong start began with a 52-36 win in overtime over Pflugerville-Connally, which was then followed by a 60-28 win over Martin. With these two wins Dripping Springs earned the first seed of Pool C.
Their first matchup in the championship bracket was a rematch of the overtime season opener between the Tigers and Lake Travis.
Lake Travis looked poised to earn revenge as they jumped out to 12-4 lead at the end of the first quarter. This run however was halted when Dripping Springs switched their defense up from man-to-man to a 1-3-1 zone.
Although the Tigers have been a team that utilizes man-to-man defensive schemes over the past few years, head coach Laura Joiner believes that their “small and quick” personnel this season thrives in the zone.
“You look at our team and you can see that we don’t have any size, so the matchups in man become very difficult very fast.” said Joiner. “They love that 1-3-1 trapping because it puts a lot of pressure on the other team’s guard play while minimizing the matchup problems inside for us.”
After initially going down 12-4 the Tigers flipped the script going on their own 12-3 run to take a 16-15 lead into halftime.
The third quarter belonged to Dripping Springs guard Julia Graham. The sophomore was on fire from deep, hitting three three-pointers in a row outscoring the entire Cavalier team in the third quarter. Graham also attributed on the defensive side of the ball, racking up four steals and five deflections for the game.
Lake Travis never recovered from Graham’s barrage of three’s and the Lady Tigers won 33-26 and the right to move on to the semi-final game in the championship bracket where they would face the Rouse Raiders.
The Lady Tigers got off to a slow start against Rouse, scoring one point in the entire first quarter, and only five in the entire first half.
“I still think we were a little scared of their size – our defense did okay, just couldn’t get any confidence on offense,” said Joiner.
Down 21-5 at halftime, Joiner reiterated to her team the need for confidence that was clearly lacking.
“I think the first half was, ‘oh they’re bigger than us, oh they’re stronger than us’ and it just took us a while to realize we were gonna be okay,” said Joiner. “We made a few adjustments, but I really feel like it was just the girls realizing they tie their shoes just like we do, and we just got to be confident.”
This message of confidence clearly resonated as the Tigers came out of the half scoring 19 points in the third quarter alone. However the whole they had dug themselves proved to be too deep. The Raiders were able to win the game 44-28 to advance to the championship where they would eventually lose to Cibolo Steele.
Rouse’s win put Dripping Springs in the third place game against the Smithson-Valley Rangers.
Even though the Rangers out-sized the Dripping Springs at most positions, the Tigers were able to cruise to a 62-36 victory to secure third place for the tournament.
After a third place victory and an overall 5-1 record coach Joiner realizes the girls have some work to do, specifically trying to improve both free-throw and three point shooting percentages, but is overall very pleased with her team’s effort and is eager to get the regular season rolling.
“Team wise we’re just really playing well together,” said Joiner. “I like our chemistry on the floor, I like the way we share the basketball, and I really, really like the energy and intensity we have on the defensive side of the floor. It’s fun, it’s fun to watch.”
DRIPPING SPRINGS – The Dripping Springs Tigers remain undefeated (5-0) after a 56-28 beat down of the Seguin Matadors by a score of 56-28 in front of their homecoming crowd Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
“Our goal is just to be 1-0 each week,” Tigers head coach Galen Zimmerman said. “So then when we look back, we’re gonna have something we are real proud of.”
The Tigers started this conference matchup hot and never looked back after a 30 yard pass and catch between quarterback Reese Johnson and receiver Curtis Raymond on the first play from scrimmage.
A series of unforced errors and special teams’ miscues plagued the Matadors all night. After one missed field goal and one field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown, Seguin seemed to seize momentum after an 85 yard kick return for a touchdown by senior Kory Ussery, but the score was called back after a holding penalty.
“Nothing changes the momentum of a ball game more than scoring on special teams,” Seguin head coach Travis Bush said. “You look at the kickoff return. That would have made it 14-7. That might have been the spark we needed early.”
Dripping Springs absolutely dominated the first half. The Tigers scored on three of their first four drives, driving the score to 21-0 early, and 35-0 by halftime.
The star of the night was Dripping Springs senior quarterback, Reese Johnson. Johnson went 10/17 through the air for 151 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
“They were giving us either the run or the pass,” Johnson said. “That’s the best part about our offense. If they try and stop the pass we can give them the run and if they try and stack the box we can go downfield to our receivers.”
The senior was also able to rush for 114 yards and an additional two scores. 36 of these yards came on an electric scramble for a touchdown. What made this play so exciting was that he had done the exact same thing on the play before, except it was called back for holding.
“It took the refs a long time to get the call right, so the whole time we were just like it doesn’t matter, we got to get in on this play too,” Johnson said.
Other key contributors on offense include junior running back Zach Murray who rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns, and junior wide receiver John Hoyle who caught four passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns.
Although 56 points and 539 total yards are dazzling statistics, the Tigers defense is worthy of praise as well. The Tigers defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage, and the secondary made every hit count.
“They were the more physical team tonight,” head coach Travis Bush said. “And in this game, the more physical team will win.”
Senior defensive end Mckenly O’neal led the Tigers with six tackles on the night.
Down 49-0 at the start of the fourth quarter, Seguin never surrendered.
“They did a good job playing four full quarters,” Zimmerman said. “They kept playing, they got a couple guys over there that are great football players.”
The Matadors were able to reach the end zone four times in the fourth quarter, pushing the final score to 56-28.
Key contributors for Seguin include running back Brandon Palomares, who rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, and #11, Kory Ussery who recorded 6 catches for 52 yards and a score.
Both teams have a bye this week.
Dripping Springs next matchup is slated for October 7, as they take on Lockhart High School.
Set 1: Drip came out poised and focused, ready to play. After going up 5-2 early, Drip never looked back going on a 19-0 run to go up 23-2. Marble falls determined, was able to extend the final score to 25-6.
Set 2: Much different feel than set 1. Marble falls scored the first 2 points, looking poised to redeem themselves. The two teams shared runs until a dripping springs timeout at 15-10. Then drip regained focus, closing the game out on a 10-3 run. 25-13
Set 3: Drip’s talent just weighed too heavily on the undermanned marble falls team. This set highlighted the Tigers outstanding defense. Closed the game on a 8-2 run. 25-12
Thoughts after game?: “as the season progresses it’s becoming more of a challenge for our team to stay as dialed in, in every single match. There’s a lot of pressure that continues to mount as you’re undefeated in district to maintain that level of focus, and thats what we just talked about after the match. We swept the first round, going undefeated in the district. Tonight we got complacent, we have to realize we have to stay focused on every match coming in to the 2nd round. Everybody is going to come in and make adjustments to us, but we have to do the same thing. The girls have done a great job all season long of reaching every challenge that i put in front of them, and the one tonight is great job in the first round of district, we havent lost a district game going on three years, its a big thing but they take great pride in it. They did a great job today, we got a lot of kids in the games tonight, and i thought every kid we put in the game, came in as focused as the person in front of them`
You would contribute lack of focus for the change between the domination in set 1 and the competitiveness of set 2?
“You know we came out in the first set and played nearly flawless volleyball, so its certainly not a discredit to marble falls. We played somewhat flawless volleyball in the first set. and when you beat someone handily like that its easy to have a mental lapse, say “eh, i dont have to stay focused.” so we called a timeout midway through, and i felt like they kinda rebounded from there and we just continued. I did the same thing in the third set, and they regained their focus. It’s difficult though, the human nature of it. But i thought they’ve done a good job of handling that.
The defense was dominant, can you speak on that?
“yeah defense is definitely something we take great pride in. I don’t know if I have a specialty in life, but i would say defense is something we take great pride in here at dripping springs. We’ve had some tremendous defensive players that have come through our programs, and the kids on the court take great pride in keeping up the tradition of doing that. And i thought tonight they were in all the right positions, they were balanced when they needed to be, they made the right reads, they stayed focused, again when you got teams that are sending the first and second ball over and you’re used to three touches, it’s easy to lose focus and go “well i’m not ready.” But i thought they did a great job of staying engaged throughout the match
What would you say the biggest key is going forward?
“Not looking ahead. Looking at tuesday. We’re looking at who we’re playing tuesday. Period, end of story. we’re looking at Medina valley. We’re not worried about anyone else past tuesday, and that’s gonna be our mantra for the rest of the season. We’re gonna stay keyed in on the next match, stay focused on that. Then prepare ourselves for the next match, stay focused on that. Not getting ahead of ourselves thinking playoffs, we got to stay dialed in.