By Anthony Mannino
The Lake Travis Lady Cavaliers defense fell a part, blowing a five-point fourth quarter lead to lose 48-46 to their rivals the Westlake Lady Chaparrals in the final seconds of the game Tuesday.
Jesse Turner scored on a put back with four seconds left after picking up one of many Chaparral (11-19, 4-5) offensive rebounds. Lake Travis (9-20, 4-4) had an opportunity to tie, but Annick Morris missed the first of her one-and-one free throw with 0.1 seconds remaining.
“It does not feel good,” said Mahlum, who finished with 11 points. “But this just motivates and my team to be victorious in our coming games.”
To start the game, Westlake attempted to stagger the Lake Travis offense by implementing a full-court trap. The press worked at first, with the Chaparrals stealing the ball and scoring a three, but The Lady Cavaliers quickly caught on to what the Westlake defense was doing. Lake Travis was patient and slowly worked the ball into their half of the court.
The inside game of the Chaparrals forced Morris into two early fouls two minutes into the game. This meant Morris had to sit out, but she immediately impacted the game when she came in with 5:30 left in the second quarter. Morris first drove to the lane picking up an easy two, and then she tied up a loose ball on defense with the possession arrow going to Lake Travis. The two sides converted numerous free throws in the last minute of the second quarter, and Kamri Ball hit a 3-pointer with three second left for Westlake.
Lake Travis still held a 28-23 halftime lead.
The Lady Cavaliers pounded the post in the third with Rylee Dawson controlling the paint on offense. Dawson scored six points in the third by posting up her opponent and making a strong move to the basket. She finished with a game-high 13 points.
Behind Dawson, Lake Travis took a 39-34 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I was thinking score,” Dawson said. “We needed points on the board, so turn and shoot.”
Westlake would up the tempo by full-court pressing the Lake Travis offense. Unlike in the first half, the Lady Cavaliers struggled to beat the trap. Lake Travis played rushed, and they were unable to feed the ball into the post. The guards also turned the ball over, and Westlake took its first lead since the beginning of the first quarter with three minutes left.
“We came out really strong; we were executing well; we ran our defense well,” Dawson said. “I think we had it in our heads that we had the game in the end, and we lost it.
The Chaparrals shot well from outside, making seven 3-pointers in the game. Although it wasn’t the long ball that caused problems for Lake Travis, it was their inability to stop second chances that ultimately lead to their loss with four seconds left.
“We played much better than last time; we just came up short,” Mahlum said “But we are going to come hard in the next district games, and hopefully come out successfully.”
Team Dist. W-L
Bowie 7 2
Anderson 7 2
Lake Travis 4 4
Del Valle 4 4
Westlake 4 5
Austin High 2 6
Akins 2 7