Lady Buffs Fall in Semi-Finals to Wylie
The Lady Buffs dream season came to an end at the UIL Girls’ State Basketball Tournament at the Erwin Center this past Saturday with a 64-34 loss at the hands of the Abilene Wylie Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Buffs, competing in the state tournament for the first time in school history, could not match the intensity that the Lady Bulldogs brought to the contest.
Wylie jumped out to an early lead and Giddings could get no closer than ten points for the rest of the game. “We knew that they were going to be aggressive defensively, but film does not do justice to what we saw in person,” noted Coach Essman. “They took it to us and kept us from doing what we wanted to offensively.”
The Lady Buffs trailed 18-7 at the end of the first and already had twelve turnovers. Wylie one upped Giddings 12-11 in the second and the Lady Buffs went in at halftime down 30-18. “I felt good to be down by only twelve with the way we had played the first half,” said Coach. “We came back on Wimberley so I was confident that we could do the same here”.
The Lady Buffs came out in the third and were ambushed by the Lady Bulldogs 20-5 in the third and they could not recover. “Our game plan was to not let #24 get the ball and we did not get it done. She is a very good player,” Coach Essman commented. “We were nervous I think. The atmosphere of the game was different than anything we had experienced.”
The Lady Buffs couldn’t get going offensively due to the defensive pressure of Wylie. Giddings, who relies a lot on defense and fast breaks, did not have any points off of their breaks. Giddings had thirty turnovers on the game with seven steals. “You have to give Wylie credit. Their defense won that game. They scored 28 points off of turnovers alone,” noted Coach.
The Lady Buffs had three seniors play their final game, Maegen Bradley, Jordan Masek, and Jena Meuth. “These three ladies will be sorely missed next season; they lead this team to the best record in school history and a berth in the state tournament. What a way to end your career!” stated Coach.
The Lady Buffs will have this experience to build on for next season as they return seven players from this year’s team with additions coming from a 29-2 junior varsity. “It hurt to lose that game but we have a solid nucleus returning that will be hungry to return,” said Coach. “We have had a great experience and we have nothing to hang our heads about. I am so proud of these kids. this has been a really special season.”
Giddings will move back to Region 3 and will compete for the next two years with Navasota, La Grange, Smithville, Rockdale, and Caldwell in District 23-3A. “District will be tougher and the Region is definitely more competitive with a greater number of solid teams; it will be a challenge,” said Essman.
The Lady Buffs finish the season as the 30-8 Region IV Champion.