Behind a strong defense and the shooting of tournament MVP Arielle Adams, the Fillies advanced to the State UIL basketball tournament for the first time in school history winning the Region I 4A tournament held last weekend on the campus of Lubbock Christian University.
And once again it was a strong second half of play that broke open two tight games that sent the Fillies to the final four at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio where they will face San Antonio Veteran’s Memorial in a 3 pm Friday game making it a true home game for the Patriot’s.
The Fillies opened play with a 44-33 win over number #2 state ranked Glen Rose in the first round followed by a 44-41 win over #11 state ranked Abilene Wylie in the championship game.
The Fillies opened play against #2 state ranked Glen Rose who was sporting an impressive 30-1 record and were riding a 22 game win streak. The two teams traded points early in the game before the Fillies grabbed a 12-6 lead late in the first quarter and were still up 12-7 after one quarter of play.
The Fillies suddenly went cold in the second quarter and did not record their first points until 4:11 was left in the first half of play. Fortunately, Glen Rose was also having problems scoring points and the two teams went into intermission knotted at 16-16.
Back to back buckets by Arielle to open the second half of play gave the Fillies a 20-16 lead. After Glen Rose fought back to narrow the score 22-21 Holly Hemmeline closed out the second quarter with back to back buckets to put the Fillies up 26-21 heading into the final quarter of play.
Those baskets by Holly were part of a 12-0 run that carried into the 5:03 mark of the third quarter giving the Fillies a 34-21 lead. One minute later the lead had grown to 38-23 on baskets by Haylee Villarreal and Arielle.
Glen Rose did cut score to 40-29, but the Fillies closed out the game trading out points and the 44-33 win.
Arielle finished the game with 18 points and was followed by Morgan Dial with nine. Also adding to the point total was Holly with eight points, Haylee tossed in four points, Cassidy Esmerado had three, and Nadia De La Rosa finished with two points.
In the Wylie game it was once again, back and forth affair with the two teams tied at 9-9 at the end of the first quarter after the Fillies were up 7-3 late in the quarter.
Wylie took their first lead at 11-9 early in the second quarter before the Fillies tied things up a 13-13 at the 5:53 mark. Cas gave the Fillies a 19-18 lead on one free throw heading into intermission.
In the third quarter the two teams once again traded points before Wylie claimed a 26-23 lead. Holly nailed a 3-point basket to tie things up once again 26-26 with 4:18 left in the quarter. Dacey Gutierrez came up with four points, Morgan hit a runner in the lane, and Arielle hit one from the left elbow that gave the Fillies a 9-0 run and a 35-26 lead heading into the final quarter of play. Another basket by Arielle gave the Fillies a 40-28 lead with 5:30 left in the game.
Wylie came back to make things interesting going on their own 8-0 run to cut the score to 40-36. Arielle nailed another basket to up the lead to 42-36 and Holly hit a five-foot jump shot from the side to put the lead back to 44-36 with :40 showing on the clock.
Wylie answered with a 5-0 run to narrow the lead to the final 44-41 score with :18 still left in the game.
Arielle once again paced the Fillies with 13 points while Holly netted nine points. Also adding to the point total was Dacey and Cassidy with six points each, and Morgan and Haylee both tossed in five points.
A Fillie win on Friday will put them in the championship game at 7 pm on Saturday against the winner between Houston Wheatley (31-3) and Argyle (32-7).
As some background to the Fillies first round opponent, known as an Early College High School, Veteran’s Memorial was first opened on August 22, 2016 where it housed just freshman and sophomore classes. This year the junior level was added and next year it will be a four year high school. It is located in the Judson Independent School district located on the northeast side of San Antonio. Playing in District 27, ASVM defeated Wharton 61-57 in overtime to earn their trip across town.