This time last year La Joya Palmview head girls’ basketball coach Anisa Reyna was coaching the La Joya Juarez-Lincoln Lady Huskies. Tuesday night Reyna returned to Juarez-Lincoln for the first time since her departure for a District 30-5A matchup between her Lady Lobos and her former Lady Huskies.
As is oftentimes the case when a program undergoes a coaching change, it takes time for the new coach to instill his or her system. As a result, wins are oftentimes few and far between in a coach’s first or even second year on the job. While the Lady Lobos’ 2-7 district record so far this season is proof of that this year, their 45-33 come-from-behind victory over the Lady Huskies Tuesday evening was a definite step in the right direction.
“One thing that we’ve emphasized this season is utilizing our team’s speed and quickness,” said Reyna. “That is not something that they’ve done here in the past but it’s part of our new program because those are our strengths as we demonstrated in the second half of tonight’s game.”
While this was Reyna’s first game back at Juarez-Lincoln since she left, it was not the first time her Lady Lobos have gone up against the Lady Huskies this season. Palmview opened district play by hosting Juarez-Lincoln in November.
“The first time we played them the game went into overtime,” shared Reyna. “We could’ve won that game with one second left in regulation, but we couldn’t take advantage of that opportunity and we lost in overtime. Mentally, we weren’t really in the game, but they’re kids and that’s going to happen.”
“Coaching against some of my former players for the first time was a bit nerve wracking, but I have a new team and this is the team I chose to coach,” added Reyna. “I am now doing my best to utilize each of my player’s skills and capabilities, but a lot of them have never played at the varsity level before so even though we have struggled, I am proud of them.”
After managing to put only four points on the scoreboard in the first quarter and 11 in the second Tuesday night, the Lady Lobos looked like a different team in the second half as they outscored Juarez-Lincoln 30-14 in the third and fourth quarters. As the final buzzer sounded it was Reyna’s new team that was celebrating as they emerged victorious for only the second time in district play with a final score of 45-33.
Top scorers for Palmview Tuesday were junior Monica Noyola and senior Gladys Salinas with 14 points each. Senior Priscilla Treviño contributed with six points of her own, while junior Lizbeth Martinez and sophomore Martha Bocanegra scored five and four points respectively.