The A&M Consolidated girls basketball team has a modest 11-7 record, but the Lady Tigers head into the playoffs having won four of five games.
“We’re peaking at a good time,” Consol coach Wendy Hines said. “We’ve played some really good games against some really good teams lately.”
Consol’s hot run started ironically with a loss, but the Lady Tigers pushed Rudder in the 53-52 defeat. They then held on to beat Waller 45-37 and won their last three District 19-5A games by an average of 20.3 points. The Lady Tigers lost a warmup game to Class 3A’s second-ranked Fairfield.
“We’re playing well together right now,” Hines said. “We’re bonding really well. The team chemistry is good, so I feel good right now.”
The Lady Tigers head into Friday night’s bi-district game against New Caney having played more than a dozen less games than last season at this time because of the pandemic. Hines said that slowed the team’s maturation process.
New Caney beat Consol 59-39 last year in bi-district. Hines said there’s advantages and disadvantages to a rematch.
“We know how they play and their style of play,” Hines said. “The downfall is we really played bad last year. I don’t want to take anything away from New Caney. Last year they played really, really well and shot the lights out of it.”
Hines thought the Lady Tigers sold themselves short with a bland effort.
“I talked to the girls and asked them what they thought, and they’re really motivated,” Hines said. “It’s not a revenge thing by any means. It’s, ‘Hey, let’s get together and give them a better game than we did last year.’”
To have a chance at advancing, Consol will need to play better defense against 6-foot-1 New Caney guard Tori Garza, who scored 18 points in the victory. The Oklahoma State signee was the 20-5A offensive player of the year last season in leading the Lady Eagles to a program-record 27 victories.
“She’s a great shooter and great player,” Hines said. “She’s on everybody’s radar, so we’re going to have to contain her.”
New Caney (18-9) beat Montgomery Lake Creek (16-10) by a 45-37 final to earn the second seed in 20-5A after both were 12-2 in district. Garza had eight points and seven steals. Abby Dittman had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Mic’Kayla Leftridge added 13 points.
“We’re really going to have to work on containing [Garza], but we’ve got to stop the rest of them,” Hines said. “She’s got a good cast around her.”
NOTES — New Caney first-year head coach Dani Froggatt, who graduated from the school, served as an assistant the past five seasons under Tricia Mize, who died in April after a short battle with cancer. Mize coached New Caney for six seasons. Last year’s bi-district victory over Consol was the program’s first playoff win in 15 years. ... The New Caney-Consol winner advances to play the winner of Pflugerville Weiss-Austin, who played Thursday night.