Cowgirls outlast Scots in nondistrict win


Anjali Krishna

Coppell junior guard Jules Lamendola pivots against Highland Park on Friday in the Coppell Large Gym. The Cowgirls beat the Scots, 41-37.

Anjali Krishna, Executive Editor-in-Chief

Celebration for the Coppell girls basketball team began early last night in the Coppell Large Gym. With less than a second left and the Cowgirls in the lead, the ball was in junior guard Jules Lamendola hands for a free throw.

Coppell went on to beat Highland Park, 41-37, with an easy conclusion to a contested game.

Energy started low, continuing on from the Cowgirls’ issue last year with slow beginnings but Coppell junior guard Waverly Hassman put 10 points on the board in the first half and carried the Cowgirls into the second.

“We all started with low energy, so hitting those threes early and just bringing energy to the bench, everyone really came together,” Hassman said. “Those first six minute were really slow, but as [Coppell sophomore guard Ella Spiller] and I started getting points, the energy picked up and for the rest of the game we were pretty energetic.”

Highland Park junior point guard Vivian Jin proved to be a speedy threat. With Hassman and later Coppell junior guard Saiya Patel guarding, Coppell’s strong defense was its savior, particularly in Patel.

“We knew their point guard coming in,” Hassman said. “We put our fastest guard [Patel] on her so she could make her tired and wear her out, [Jin] played the whole game.”

Although the Coppell offense struggled with consistency overall, Spiller and Coppell freshman guard Landry Sherrer came through with several offensive rebounds. Coppell junior guard Jules LaMendola also scored on key free throws.

“Everybody did little things down the stretch and closed out games and that continues a trend from last year of us closing out games,” Coppell coach Ryan Murphy said. “Our defense has been tested on the ball and they’ve been a strength for us. But we’ve got to continue to execute on offense. When we do that, we’ll be really tough to beat.”

Against a team of prime shooters, Coppell entered with a focus on forcing Highland Park to take away the Scots’ perimeter and shoot contested twos. Coppell’s defense was relentless despite a few opposition breakthroughs.

“We needed to force some more difficult shots,” Murphy said.

Coming into the second half, the game went point-to-point in its final few minutes. Though the Cowgirls’ first two games against Colleyville Heritage and Frisco Centennial were blowouts, Coppell’s junior-heavy team was prepared. Getting up by one, Coppell stalled it out for the last few seconds after LaMendola put the Cowgirls in the lead.

“We’re in a lot of tight games from last year to this year,” Hassman said. “We’ve been in a lot of close games and we use experience from that. When you’re in tight games, you really just have to rely on your teammates and just stick to a plan. We knew we were up by one, so we brought it out and tried to stall. It worked, and it was just a great start, and we’re hoping to carry it through district.”

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