This sign came up in the crowd during the final two minutes of Saltillo's victory over Coolidge, Saturday
night, in Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym, denoting the excitement by the huge crowd of Hopkins
County fans that came out to see the victory!
Saltillo Lady Lions "Austin Bound"
Following Saturday Night's Regional
Victory Over Coolidge
by: Bobby McDonald
The west side of Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym was full of Hopkins County and neighboring folks, on Saturday night, for the tip-off of the 2013 Regional Finals in the Division 2 Tournament, that pitted the hometown Saltillo Lady Lions against the Coolidge Lady Jackets. And, you could almost feel the desire for a "taste of victory" as the Lady Lions had made the unsuccessful trip to Tyler's Regional Finals for the last three years, but failed to advance.
"This is all about a group of young ladies who began playing together in Little Dribblers, about the time that the Saltillo Lady Lions went to State in 2001," explained one longtime Lady Lions fan. "It's time for a win and trip back to Austin!"
Fans were on the edge of their seats, as the Lady Lions fell behind during the first quarter, as trying to establish their game against a tough Coolidge Lady Jacket team. The Lady Lions trailed 14-5 at the end of the first period
After receiving a "rallying talk" from veteran Saltillo Lions Coach, Garry Davison, the Lady Lions settled down and began to play their style of basketball, during the second period, holding the Lady Jackets to only seven points, during the period, and adding 13 points in the basket for themselves. They began to play their traditional defensive game and make-up the difference, to only trail by four at the halftime intermission.
Coolidge Lady Jacket, Sophomore Dianna Kirven #5, proved to be a
menace for the Lady Lions on both defense and with expert shooting
beneath the basket.
"I guess....once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader?"
With "fire" in his breath and words of encouragement for his team, Coach Garry Davison took his girls to the locker room for the halftime intermission and most would agree, used a number of drawings on his board, to explain to the Lady Lions what they had to do, to win the game. And, they came out on the defensive, maintaining the momentum they had established during the second quarter.
The Lady Lions tied the game, mid-way through the third period and held on to a 1-point advantage, at the end of the third, 34-33.
The fourth and final period found the Lady Lions totally in control of the game. They executed their defense and put points on the board to "clinch" the Regional Finals game, 54-42, scoring twenty points and holding Coolidge to only nine points. The Lady Lions excelled at the free-throw line and put the game away, to claim the coveted victory!!!
Congratulations, Lady Lions!!!