By Kevin Wilson
The Texico Lady Wolverines and Elida Lady Tigers had to be patient for the start of Saturday’s third-place game of the 47th annual EPAC basketball tournament, waiting and watching as a Logan-San Jon boys game that featured 70 fouls and 111 free-throw attempts ran late.
Texico managed to keep its patience, ironically sealing a 37-27 win over Elida at the free-throw line.
Mindi Roberts had 13 points to lead Texico (10-3), which survived 1-of-8 shooting in the fourth quarter and instead finished off Elida at the free-throw line. Roberts hit all eight of her free-throw attempts, and Texico shot 17-of-23 from the line.
“I thought we were patient,” Texico coach Buddy Little said. “We showed some composure and we waited for our shots.
“And we played a good team. If you take anything away from Elida, you’re crazy.”
A bad shooting night for Elida countered Little’s claim, at least for Saturday. The shots never quite came for Lady Tigers (7-7), who shot 8-of-33 from the field and went without a 3-pointer.
“If we could have hit shots and cut our turnovers, we could have had a couple of little runs,” Elida coach Dan Howard said. “We could never get it going.”
Texico never trailed after taking a 6-4 lead on a pair of Roberts free throws to end the first. The Lady Wolverines had a 7-2 run that bridged the second and third quarter to push the lead to 21-12.
Elida got as close as three, 29-26, on a turnaround jumper from Keisha Chenault, but Lauren Boazman answered with a layup and the teams traded free throws the rest of the contest.
Texico faces Fort Sumner on the road Tuesday, but the more immediate concern for the Lady Wolverines lies with senior Ashley Smith. Smith suffered a knee injury with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth. Texico is already without forward Ashley Kidd, who is also out with a knee injury — coincidentally, in a game against Elida.
Kodi Armitage had seven points to lead Elida, which was playing in the third-place game after claiming the previous two EPAC titles.
“You’ve got to get up to play,” Howard said. “I know it’s a tough game to get up for and we didn’t get up for it.”
Elida opens District 3-1A play Tuesday against Floyd.