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The Sharyland Rattlers and Lady Rattlers treated their hosts rather rudely earlier this week as they swept the Huskies and Lady Huskies at the La Joya Juarez-Lincoln (LJJL) High School gymnasium Tuesday evening. With the Rattlers pulling off a 38-point victory and the Lady Rattlers winning by 39, it was almost as if the two Sharyland teams made themselves feel right at home despite the fact the Huskies’ faithful were doing all they could to make them feel unwelcome.
It was the Lady Rattlers who jumped out to an early 8-0 lead over the Lady Huskies and never looked back en-route to a lopsided 61-22 District 30-5A victory.
The fact that Coach Dale Whitaker’s Lady Rattlers held their hosts to a total eight points in the second half demonstrated how dominant a defense Whitaker’s squad has.
“Our defense is our strength - our half-court defense especially,” explained Whitaker. “We do have personal goals that we set in regards to how much we want the other team to score and let’s just say that we held them to within that limit tonight.”
With Tuesday night’s victory, the Lady Rattlers have improved their district record to 3-0 (13-4 overall) as they prepare for tonight’s home game against Edinburg Economedes. With his girls having shown improvement from week to week, has Whitaker smiling.
“We struggled a little bit at first, but we’re coming together. We’re piecing it together, and as a result we’re 3-0 in district now,” said Whitaker.
While junior guard Samantha Trevino led the way in scoring for the Lady Rattlers with 16 points, 12 from beyond the three-point line, six-foot tall freshman Ana Marshall certainly made her presence known with 12 points of her own.
“As our tallest girl tonight, Ana played her best game of the season and Samantha Trevino hit quite a few three-pointers,” said Whitaker. “What’s weird about this team is that we don’t have any superstars. We’re pretty even all the way across the 10 of them. I was even able to play five at a time and that’s a luxury that most teams don’t have.”
The Sharyland boys game followed a very similar path to that of the girls as they opened up an early lead and kept building on it until they walked off the court with a 78-40 victory. Also like the girls, the Rattlers boys are undefeated in district action and as Sharyland head boys basketball coach David Keith commented, that’s really all that matters right now.
“The most important stat is that we’re 2-0 in district right now,” said Keith. “Our boys needed to be physical inside tonight because Coach Montalvo always has his boys ready to play hard and they did play hard. That was exactly what we were expecting.”
While the crowd was rather quiet during the girls game, once the boys hit the hardwood, the hometown fans came to life. Despite the fact that other than their 2-0 lead to open the game their Huskies never led again, the Juarez-Lincoln fans were energetic and boisterous throughout.
Going up against physical teams and dealing with crowd noise are just two of the things that Keith wants his boys to get used to doing.
“We’re leaving for Dallas Thursday morning to play in a big tournament in Cedar Hill,” explained Keith. “We’re planning on seeing some very big, physical kids so we need to be able to play physical too. While we seemed to be a little bit worn down earlier this year, I think we recovered coming into this game as we looked a little fresher. I’m expecting us to be playing our best basketball right around early January.”
With 11 seniors on his roster and six players measuring between 6’ 3” and 6’ 6” tall, Keith has two of the things all high school basketball coaches dream of having – experience and height.
“We do have a lot of seniors on this team, but the underclassmen are also expected to carry a big bulk of the weight,” said Keith. “We are also bigger than we’ve been in a long time. That gives us a height advantage over most people in the Valley, but that won’t be the case once we get up into Dallas.”
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