The No. 11 ranked Saltillo Lady Lions have gotten off to a very hot start this season, winning 10 of their first 11 games. Last night, they hosted the No. 25 ranked team in 4A, the Canton Lady Eagles, for what was probably their toughest task of the season.
The game opened as a close affair, with neither team having much of an advantage over the other. The Canton Lady Eagles took a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, with the Lady Lions right behind them.
In the second quarter, Canton was able to add to their lead, but only by the tiniest of margins. The outscored Saltillo 19-15, extending their lead to 35-30 at the end of the first half.
The second half opened with what was by far the lowest scoring frame of the night. The two teams combined for just 16 points, and Canton was able to push their lead to seven points with just eight minutes to go.
It was then, in the final frame, when the Lady Lions had their best stretch of the night. They not only put up a game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, but also held Canton to just 14. Tying the game up and sending it to overtime.
The Lady Eagles did outscore the Lady Lions in the final frame, though the Lady Lions had to finish the final 2:30 with just four players on the floor due to foul trouble. Canton went on to win the overtime thriller by a final score of 70-64, though it was a great outing for Saltillo.
Julianna Giles once again led the way for Saltillo, this time doing so on a very impressive 36 points. The daughter of coach Bill Giles also shot a perfect 12/12 from the free throw line.
Also finishing in double-digits were Gabby Ross and Allie Lane, two players who have also become very familiar with double-digit efforts. Ross had 16 points and made five of her six free throw attempts, while Lane had 12 points and shot a perfect 2/2 from the charity stripe. Yadhira Alonso was the only other Lady Lion to score, adding one point to the total.
The loss was just the second on the season for Saltillo, and was also their second loss to a ranked team. Their only other loss came at the hands of Huckabay, the No. 2 ranked team in 1A.
Saltillo will have the remainder of this week off, and will host Union Hill for their district opener on Tuesday, Dec. 6.