HS GBB Playoffs: Conroe Moves to Regional Quarterfinals in Spectacular Overtime Win
SPRING, TX -– Conroe dominated the district and last night’s performance showed a possible playoff run. Many can make it to the first round but with single elimination, the second round is where teams fall. Running the district and having skill only take a team so far; in area and later rounds, teams have to utilize everyone not just showcase 1 or 2 individuals. Conroe has always played as a team and when one pops off, the others follow creating an unbeatable dynamic.
Klein Oak was the home to the second round as Conroe was coming in off a dominating win against MacArthur, Cy-Springs was also ecstatic about making it to the second round. From tipoff the teams didn’t let up and played aggressive. Conroe was on the receiving end of the aggressiveness of Cy-Springs; their toughest opponent yet. It was humbling to say the least as the Lady Tigers attacked the paint, Cy-Springs put up a brick wall and a lid on the basket. In the first, both teams defense was the dominate drive to a low scoring quarter. This would be one of the first times Conroe trailed during the season. The first ended with a mere 6 points scored by Cy-Springs and 5 by Conroe.
By the second quarter, each team has felt each other out but the aggression by Cy-Springs didn’t let up. Sian Phipps (#55 Cy) was a tower in the paint, preventing any attack by Conroe and shutting down anyone close to the basket. Conroe struggled to make plays as the Panthers smothered then and shut down the passing lane. Although a better quarter, Conroe struggled with the constant double teaming by Cy-Springs.
Conroe went in the locker room trailing at the half; 21-19. Although a close game, Conroe wasn’t used to having to make a comeback and fight harder to be on top. Coach Houston said, “Prove that you belong here. Prove that this isn’t a fluke,” she continued, “you work to get here, you have earned the right, that’s out motto, Earn it Every day.”
Coming out of the locker room, the Lady Tigers heated up and started to drive passed the Cy-Springs defense and finally make some plays to get good looks at the basket. The teams would exchange the lead in the 3rd going bucket for bucket at times but also showing strong defense at each end of the court. Cy-Spring still came up on top by the end of the 3rd but Conroe decreased their lead by 1 point, closing off the quarter once again trailing 30-28.
Makenzie Castille (#30), the 5’10” sophomore from Conroe was struggling the entire game. Cy-Springs had girls bigger and physically stronger than her, and she was facing the most aggressive ones under the basket. Conroe and Cy-Springs both once again exchanged buckets throughout the 4th but the it wasn’t until the end with 4 seconds left the game took a turn. The struggling sophomore, Makenzie Castille (#30) was tapped the ball scoring the game tying shot, to revive Conroe and force an overtime.
Coach Houston was speechless but expressed her thoughts later to Castille, “You struggled all day, but you’re the one to make that shot to send us into overtime. You’re the one that put us in a position to go and win this game.”
With just a few minutes on the clock, overtime began and quickly became a race to get points on the board. Facing their toughest and most aggressive team yet, Conroe went bucket for bucket once again with Cy-Springs. Little mistakes were amplified and exploited by Conroe which gave them the slight lead in the final seconds of overtime. Cy-Springs had one final attempt but with 2 missed 3-point shots they fell short and Conroe ended the battle winning by 1, 44-43.
Conroe will move on to the Regional Quarterfinals since the early 2000s. “This is the first time that we’ve been to the 3rd round since I’ve been here, said head coach Tamisha Houston celebrating their overtime victory.