The Banquete Lady Bulldogs participated in the 26th Annual Pride of Texas tournament at Tuloso-Midway High School last week. The Lady Dogs faced stiff competition in the tournament, but frustration from poor shooting and trouble with turnovers and fouls kept the team winless throughout the three-day event.
Banquete began the tournament Friday morning with a game against host Tuloso-Midway Cherokees. The Cherokees defeated the Lady Bulldogs in a close 44-40 victory at the Lady Coyotes Invitational a week prior. Banquete was never able to get started in the game, falling behind early and were never able to recover in the 28-57 loss.
The Lady Dogs' next game was against the 5A Westlake Lady Chaparrals. For the first quarter, the Banquete kept the game tight, even tying the score at 10-10 in the last two minutes before Westlake's Cherrell Mays hit a three-point shot to give the Lady Chaparrals a 13-10 advantage going into the second quarter.
By the second quarter, the Lady Dogs were overwhelmed by Westlake's size and defense. Banquete was outscored 33-0 in the quarter. Westlake's center, 6'2" Courtney Duever, led her team with 14 points in the second quarter.
The Lady Dogs finally scored again with 6:33 left in the third quarter on a jumper by Alyssa Valdez, who finished the game with six points. Pena scored the only other Banquete basket in the quarter. By the end of the third, the Lady Bulldogs trailed 14-66.
The Lady Chaparrals outscored Banquete 13-6 in the fourth quarter, winning the game 79-20,
Despite the tough loss, Gutierrez said playing against a high-caliber 5A team like Westlake was good for the Lady Dogs.
"This is what we need to play against to get ready for district," she said.
Pena led Banquete in the game with eight points. The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over 43 times in the game.
Banquete's lone Friday game was against Weslaco East. The Lady Dogs had trouble finding a shooting rhythm in the first quarter, allowing the Lady Wildcats to take an 11-4 lead. However, Banquete, boosted by a couple of three-pointers by Lindsie Chapa, outscored Weslaco 12-6 in the second quarter, cutting their opponent's lead to one points.
The Lady Bulldogs kept the game tight in the third, but the Lady Wildcats finished the quarter strong with a 9-0 scoring run. Despite two more three-point shots by Chapa in the fourth, Banquete was unable to catch Weslaco, losing their third game 36-43.
Banquete played their final game of the tournament Saturday morning against the Gregory-Portland Lady Wildcats. Pena missed the game due to a prior commitment to take the ACT test that morning.
The Lady Bulldogs struggled from the start of the game, trailing 0-13 before a free throw by Valdez put her team on the scoreboard.
Banquete also struggled with foul trouble, committing 10 team fouls by the end of the half to Gregory-Portland's three.
By the end of the game, the Lady Bulldogs had committed 21 team fouls. Sophie Ramos fouled out of the game in the third quarter. The Lady Wildcats went 14-24 from the free-throw line, 7-8 in the second quarter. Banquete lost the game 27-62, with Chapa leading the team with 14 points.
The Lady Bulldogs' next game will be at home against the Kingsville Academy Lions. Tip-off will be at 6:30 p.m.