Cowgirls make statement by defeating state-ranked Cedar Hill

Coppell+senior+guard+Jules+Lamendola+looks+to+make+a+pass+against+Cedar+Hill+at+the+CHS+Arena+on+Tuesday.+The+Cowgirls+defeated+the+Longhorns%2C+52-44.+Photo+by+Aliya+Zakir.

Aliya Zakir

Coppell senior guard Jules Lamendola looks to make a pass against Cedar Hill at the CHS Arena on Tuesday. The Cowgirls defeated the Longhorns, 52-44. Photo by Aliya Zakir.

Ava Johnson, Staff Writer

The Coppell girls basketball team is down by two in the second quarter when Coppell senior guard Macie Mercer dribbles around the perimeter of the three-point line searching for an open shot or pass. 

Unable to find one, she drives to the basket and takes her shot. The shot goes in and the crowd erupts into a roar as Mercer ties the game.

The Coppell girls basketball team defeated Cedar Hill, 52-44, on Tuesday at CHS Arena in a competitive back-and-forth game. 

Entering the game, Cedar Hill was ranked No. 11 in Class 6A and Coppell No. 12 by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. 

“Cedar Hill is ranked ahead of us, they’re one of the top ten teams in the state, and we felt like it was going to be a really close game,” Coppell girls basketball coach Ryan Murphy said. “We felt that it was going to come down to which team was more disciplined, and I thought our girls did a great job executing [that] and they never really gave Cedar Hill a chance in the second half.”

Down in the first quarter, Coppell senior guard Jules LaMendola throws a nearly full court pass down to Coppell junior guard Ella Spiller, waiting to score. Spiller jumped for a basket, and as the ball went in, the crowd went wild over the play as the Cowgirls continued their fight to take control.

Throughout the rest of the first quarter, the two teams battled for each point and matched the other basket after basket, until Cedar Hill ultimately took the lead at the end of the quarter, with a score of 14-11.

Coppell senior guard Macey Mercer pivots against Cedar Hill at the CHS Arena on Tuesday. The Cowgirls defeated the Longhorns, 52-44. Photo by Aliya Zakir. (Aliya Zakir)

In the second quarter, Mercer established her presence on the court by scoring the first three-pointer for the team, and for her notable defense. As Cedar Hill passed the ball around their basket trying to find an open shot, Mercer leapt forward and blocked one of their passes, proving that the Coppell defense was not to be trifled with. 

At the end of the first half, with Cedar Hill leading, Mercer drove to the basket again, scoring and drawing a foul from Cedar Hill. Mercer stood at the free throw line and made both shots, setting the Cowgirls at 23-20 at halftime, and establishing a lead that will last the rest of the night. 

Mercer’s teammates and coaches noticed and acknowledged her performance.

“Macy Mercer, our point guard, really stepped up,” LaMendola said. “She’s been aggressive lately, she’s been getting to the basket and making the right reads, stepping up on defense, and she eliminated one of their best players.”

The Cowgirls extended their lead throughout the third quarter, as LaMendola scored layup after layup against the Longhorns. The Longhorns struggled to keep up with the Cowgirls and the game became increasingly physical.

Near the end of the third quarter, LaMendola dove for the ball and found herself battling for possession on the floor against Cedar Hill senior shooting guard Cailan Hale. LaMendola also found herself at the foul line four times throughout the course of the game, as the Cedar Hill defense focused on shutting her down, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

The Cowgirls congratulate senior guard Jules LaMendola on her 1000th shot at the CHS Arena on Tuesday. The Cowgirls defeated the Longhorns, 52-44. Photo by Aliya Zakir. (Aliya Zakir)

In the third quarter LaMendola reached her milestone of 1,000 career points. When the shot went in and the announcement aired over the loudspeakers, the team broke out in a roar of excitement and surrounded LaMendola, celebrating her achievement.

The Cowgirls maintained their lead throughout the final quarter of the game, and celebrated their victory, which set them at 4-0 in their season. 

@CoppellGirlsBB defeated @CedarHillGBB at CHS Arena on Tuesday. Read all about it in @avakjohnson4 ’s story to learn more. #CaptureCoppell #CHSLearnLoveServe.