Devine grabs lead late, edges Owls in round 3


By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher


     San Antonio -- Leading for most of the way, until the final minute of the game, the Hondo girls’ basketball team saw a strange season come to an end last Wednesday night, Feb. 24, at Paul Taylor Field House.

     Devine took the lead with 50 seconds left to play and held on for a 35-33 regional quarterfinal win over the Owls. 

    It was the Arabians’ third win this season over the Owls, and the second time they had taken the lead for good in the final minute of the game.

     The District 30-4A and area champion Owls concluded the season, often interrupted by COVID postponements and cancellations, with a 19-7 record. Devine (20-7), the winner of 29-4A, lost its regional semifinal game on Friday, Feb. 26, to Boerne, 68-35.

     The first period was about as low scoring as it could have been. In fact, it took a quarter buzzer-beater by Camryn Cary to give Hondo a 5-4 lead.

     Things picked up a little in the second period. The lead changed hands five times before Hondo went up 13-10 on back-to-back buckets from Cassidy Reus and Emma Neuman with 2:24 left in the half. It was the first time either team had scored twice in a row.

     The Owls carried a 15-12 lead to the locker room, and extended it in the third quarter. A Reus three to open the half, followed by a Cary layup at the 6:00 mark gave Hondo its biggest lead of 20-12.

     A 9-2 run for the Arabians midway through the quarter, including a pair of bucket-and-ones, brought Devine within 22-21 with 2:59 left. 

Hondo held onto the lead, going up 26-23 on a follow shot by Jaclyn Leyva with 1:10 left in the quarter. The Owls forced a pair of turnovers by taking a couple of charges in the final minute of the period. The score stayed put for more than three minutes, until Baylee Rogge hit two free throws with 5:53 to play. At the 4:30 mark, Gracie Navarro hit two more to give the Owls a 30-25 lead.

     Reus hit the first of two free throws with 2:04 left, putting the Owls up 33-30, but after Hondo grabbed the offensive rebound, two point-blank shots in a row rimmed out. Twice, Devine hit the front end of a two-shot foul, cutting Hondo’s lead to 33-32 with 1:11 left. With a chance to take the lead, the Arabians missed two free throws at the 56-second mark, but Allison Taylor grabbed the second miss and followed with a go-ahead bucket. The Owls had three more missed opportunities in the final 45 seconds, and the Arabians added one more FT to finish the scoring.

     Reus led the Owls with 10 points, with seven from Neuman and six from Cary.

     Two senior Owls, Rogge and Neuman, played their final basketball game for Hondo.

Megan Runyan scored 14 to lead Devine.