Driving The Ball

Ladybirds senior Jackie Nichols makes her way through the Rice Consolidated defense during a game earlier in the season.

The El Campo Ladybirds (8-2) got a game-high 15 points from senior Mya Shorter to beat the Anderson Shiro Lady Fighting Owls at Ricebird Gym Saturday afternoon.

The win was the Ladybirds’ eighth of the season, and it answered their loss to the Victoria West Lady Trojans the game before. Going into their game against Victoria West, El Campo was coming off their holiday break. The Lady Trojans hit the Ladybirds with a big 20-point second quarter, and they couldn’t recover.

Against the Lady Fighting Owls, El Campo came out strong on the defensive end, holding them to two baskets in the first 16 minutes of play. Shorter carried the load offensively but, 10 different Ladybirds scored at least one point, righting the ship to close out non-district play. 

“The loss to Victoria was fresh and left a bad taste in our mouths. The girls came out ready to play (Saturday) and they knew it was the last run before district,” Ladybirds coach Denise Anderson said. “The win against Anderson-Shiro was a big deal being the last one before we start district. The girls wanted to go into district pumped and ready, and this game was their chance to pull out all the stops. They had some rough calls, but they stayed focused and worked as a team.”

The Ladybirds now turn their attention towards district play that started this week. Last year El Campo finished in second place. This year’s Ladybirds’ district includes Wharton, Sealy and Brookshire Royal, who they played last season. They will also face new additions, Navasota and Bellville, who were added in during the last realignment. 

Navasota, Brookshire Royal, Wharton and El Campo all made the playoffs last year.

“Our district won’t be easy, but the girls know it’s time to get down to business,” Anderson said. “We start off with two of the toughest opponents first (right) out the box so I think it’s going to be interesting to watch the girls go to work on the court. They worked hard in practice today and on defense after watching film from previous games to be sure they fixed any issues before taking the court (in district). All five teams in district will bring something different to the court and will challenge this team to step up and make it happen. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that they will show up and make it happen every game day.”

Bellville is returning no all-district players.

Last season Navasota won their district and had the district defensive MVP, who’ll be a senior. Navasota will also return a sophomore first-team all-district player.

Sealy is returning one first-team all-district player, a junior.

Brookshire Royal, last year, won the district and had the district defensive MVP, who is a junior. Brookshire Royal also is returning two first-team all-district players, a senior and a junior. They’ll also have a senior second-team all-district player.

Wharton will be returning two first-team all-district players, a senior and a junior. 

The Ladybirds returned seniors Jackie Nichols, the district MVP, and Shorter, the offensive MVP. Alongside the two guards, most of the team has played together for multiple seasons. 

El Campo, this Friday night, will play Brookshire Royal at Ricebird Gym.

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