By Gene Helfman
Lopez hosted the Cedar Park Lions on Dec. 9. The two games couldn’t have been more different. The Lopez girls jumped out to an early lead in the first game and never took their foot off the gas. Lopez was ahead 20-4 at the end of the first quarter and the lead just grew from there.
The Lobos executed full court presses from the beginning and gave the Lions very few easy shots. Lopez also hit with great success from the free throw line. Siri Dye led the team with 24 points, followed by Anah-Kate Drahn with 10, and Jana Gruenwald with 8. Four other girls also scored for a full team victory.
The game ended Lopez 54, Cedar Park 10. Coach Brad Smith was happy that his entire squad got playing time. He remarked afterward that he was proud of the team’s hustle throughout, “We don’t have great height but we do have great speed, and that’s always going to make a difference.”
The Lopez boys faced a very different situation, with a different outcome. The powerhouse Cedar Park Lions brought their undefeated record and a team loaded with five seniors, all over six feet. Lopez, in contrast, boasted one senior and one player over six feet.
Coach M. R. Buffum had cautioned that Lopez had a young team that was “a work in progress.” Despite being clearly outmanned, Lopez played hard all four quarters, which drew the appreciation of a large, enthusiastic home crowd. Top scorer was Reese Hamilton with 16 points, including several 3-pointers. Galen Westervelt scored 9 points, Tobin Arden, 3, and Lichen Johnson, 2. The game ended Lions 74, Lopez 30, very similar to last year’s games against Cedar Park.
Both teams have one more home game this year, Dec. 18 against Concrete. Lopez won’t play again at home until Jan. 19.