George Ranch varsity girls' basketball dominated the VYPE-Aldine ISD Holiday Hoops Classic presented by the United States Marine Corps going 4-0 over the weekend.
With scores of 69-28 against La Marque and 75-31 over Eisenhower in pool games, the Longhorns weren't a team to be messed with heading to the semis the following day. On Saturday, the girls continued that same pace to beat Lutheran North, 56-40, in the semifinals to land themselves in the championship versus the Heights' Lady Bulldogs.
The first quarter was plagued by personal fouls for the Lady Longhorns, leading to many substitutions to avoid multiple fouls on their starters. This didn't phase the Lady Longhorns, as Gabrielle Owens and Savannah Velazquez took up the slack on defense and with their stellar offensive skills. This contributed to a 21-12 lead going into the second quarter.
With many substitutions made in the first half of the game, it was easily noticed that the team could adapt quickly to any new changes made. Communication was never lost, and their fast scoring pace continued. For the Lady Bulldogs, Kamryn Cole and Gracelynn Alvarez picked it for the Bulldogs making the score at the end of the first half 38-28 George Ranch.
By the third quarter, Alvarez stepped it up for her Lady Bulldogs with two 3-pointers setting the tone for an aggressive second half of the game. George Ranch answered back with some shots of their own to maintain their lead from Jaedyn Dunn, Savannah Velazquez, and Gabrielle Owens. The score by the end of the third quarter would be 58-43.
The fourth quarter had some significant changes made by the Heights. As other teams who had played George Ranch earlier in the tournament, their scores didn't compete nearly with the Lady Longhorns' high scoring numbers. The Lady Bulldogs decided to attack from higher up the key and denied George Ranch of any opportunity to get inside the paint to score. This limited George Ranch's scoring but did not stop it completely. The final score was 67-58 making it George Ranch's closest score of the entire tournament.
MVP of the overall tournament went to George Ranch's very own Gabrielle Owens. The all-tournament team who participated in the championship included Jaedyn Dunn, Savannah Velazquez, and Gracelynn Alvarez.
As round two of the Class 6A Division 2 Region III playoffs kicked off at TDECU Stadium, the 2015 state champion George Ranch Longhorns would face off against the Humble Wildcats.
Wrapping up the first half, the Longhorns managed to be leading 13-7 with touchdowns from Javon Gipson and Andre Falkquay. The Longhorns had more yardage and doubled the Wildcats in first downs as odds were in their favor statistically.
Unfortunately, this lead could only last them so long. By third quarter, Humble scored three consecutive touchdowns within just a three-minute stretch. The team, who had punted five times before their possession in the third quarter, now had some serious momentum going.
With an eight-yard touchdown by Tavian Coleman and an extra point, the Wildcats took over the lead. Wrapping up the third quarter, Donald Harper had a double pass to Robert Williams III of 42 yards to extend the lead 21-13.
Fourth quarter managed to keep the crowd on their feet for every play as both teams were neck and neck.
George Ranch answered back with a touchdown of their own by Javon Gipson of 74 yards. Sixteen seconds later the Wildcats came back with a 65-yard pass from quarterback Dexter Wyble to Damarcus Crosby finishing it up with a run of two yards to the endzone by X'Zavier Sidney.
With traded turnovers after Humble's score, the Longhorns turned it over on downs at the Wildcat's 33 with 1:06 remaining in the game. The Longhorns offense didn't manage to pull through finishing their season in Houston Saturday night, falling 28-21.
The Longhorns ended their season 5-7. Now Humble who improves 10-2 will face Katy Taylor (7-5) at NRG on Saturday with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.