Lopez Lobos take on Cedar Park Christian Lions

by Gene Helfman

It was standing room only in the Lopez gym as the Lobos took on the Cedar Park Christian Lions on Jan. 6. The Lady Lobos looked forward to evening out their 2-win, 3-loss season, although fielding only seven players could have been a problem. It wasn’t. The Lobos jumped out to a strong lead, pouring in point after point while holding the Lions scoreless. Lopez was ahead 18-2 in the first period, and the half ended 22-4. Cedar Park came out pressing harder in the second half, which slowed the Lopez attack. With a thin bench and several players in foul trouble, Coach Karrie Warner advised her girls to slow it down, avoid fouls. The game ended decisively regardless, Lopez 33, Cedar Park 17.

Betty Burt led scoring with 15 points, followed by Glory Westervelt with 8, Ruby Irvin McLean with 4, and Dani Arnott, Ruby Sausman, and Jose Luckhurst with 2 each, a positive result with 6 out of 7 players putting up buckets. Betty Burt also had 21 rebounds and Glory Westervelt had 9 steals.

Coach Warner afterward said the team had been working hard on passing the ball and rebounding, and it showed. She couldn’t have been happier with their performance and the outcome.

The men’s game was a nail-biter. Cedar Park jumped out to an early lead and the Lobos had to work hard just to keep it close. The half ended Cedar Park 11, Lopez 8. The second half was similar, the Lions staying just ahead, Lopez pulling up close, then Cedar Park again pulling away. Things looked promising with the Lions ahead by a point, 34-33 after three periods. A raucous crowd grew even louder when Lopez pulled within a point, 41-40, with 18 seconds left. But Lopez was forced to commit strategic fouls to keep time from expiring, and the Cedar Park players hit their free throws. The game ended with Lions 44, Lobos 40.

Four players got into the scoring: Ethan Patrick had 31 points, Andris Meisner three, and Henry Robles and Silas Gronley had two each. The Lobos’ remaining 2 points were scored by an embarrassed Cedar Park player who got the ends of the court confused.

Coach Shane Patrick was pleased with the team’s effort, but lamented the number of second-chance opportunities in which Lopez failed to convert.

After the game, The Pack — the Lobos’ Athletic Booster Club — honored former coach MR Buffum, thanking him for four decades of service. Former team members, family, and friends joined in the tribute.