Defending the rim

Del Rio Queens’ Laila Betancourt attempts to block a Laredo LBJ player’s shot during the first half of play Friday at the Carl P. Guys Memorial Gymnasium. Betancourt finished the game with 16 points and four blocks, but the Queens dropped their second district game of the season, 36-34.

The ball just didn’t bounce Del Rio’s way Friday afternoon.

A short-handed Del Rio Queens basketball team looked to pick up its first district win of the season against the Laredo LBJ Lady Wolves. Down by two points with less than 10 seconds to play, Del Rio’s Mallory Polanco had a good look at the basket to tie, but her shot missed wide and LBJ was able to grab the errant shot and run out the clock to preserve a 36-34 win.

Despite hitting just three shots from the field in the first half, LBL carried a 14-9 advantage into halftime. The Lady Wolves attempted 12 free throws in the first half, hitting eight of them, to build their lead.

On the other hand, Del Rio attempted just one free throw in the first half. It was a trend that would continue for the remainder of the game as LBJ finished 18-of-32 from the charity stripe while the Queens were 8-of-10.

Despite the discepnacy from the free throw line, Del Rio did its best to keep the game close. The Queens got as close as 31-30 in the second half, but a 6-0 run by LBJ put some more distance between them Del Rio.

Del Rio didn’t bow out. Laila Betancourt cut the deficit to 36-34 with a pair of free throws with just over a minute left to play. After LBJ’s Priscilla Zacate missed a pair of free throws, Del Rio tried to tie the game but came up short on its next trip down the court.

The Queens got one more chance after Renee Salas came up with a steal with less than 30 seconds to play, but Del Rio couldn’t hit the tying basket to force overtime.

Betancourt led all scorers with 16 points. She also had seven rebounds and four blocks. Sydney Ballard had six points on a pair of 3’s as did Salas who scored six on two 3-pointers. Salas also had four assists and eight steals. Nataly Gonzalez, Mallory Polanco and Kimberly Hernandez each had two points to round out the scoring.

Melissa Menchaca led LBJ with 11 points. Katia Loza and Alexa Escalera added six points each for the Lady Wolves.

Del Rio returns to action Tuesday when they travel to Laredo to face the Nixon Lady Mustangs at 6:30 p.m.

The Queens’ next home game will be Friday, Jan. 10, when Del Rio hosts the Laredo United South Lady Panthers at 6:30 p.m. at the Carl P. Guys Memorial Gymnasium.

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