Energy. Effort. Passion. Those three words have become something of a battle cry in the Beeville Trojan athletic program over the past two years thanks to Trojan football coach Zane Brown.
It’s filtered out to every program at A.C. Jones High, including the girls basketball team.
The Lady Trojans showed they had all three in spades in the first round of the state playoffs Feb. 12.
Beeville won its seventh straight bi-district championship – a span that has lasted through three coaches – by beating Stafford 49-35 at Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca.
“We came out ready to play,” said Lady Trojan coach Felicia Ramirez. “The energy was there finally, that’s what we’ve been missing. The girls are just hungry.
“We had good practices all week. They were focused, and we got after it today.”
Cylee Lopez and Camryn Longoria brought the effort in the early going to help Beeville build its lead.
They duo hooked up four times in the first half when Lopez would penetrate and draw the defense before dumping off a pass to Longoria on the back side for an easy look underneath.
“It was huge,” Ramirez said of the duo’s impact. “Cylee and Camryn, they hit it off right at the beginning, and that set the tone for the whole team.”
Beeville (14-6) then got an extra jolt of energy from Aaralyn Del Bosque and Jaida Gonzales, who came off the bench to help push the Lady Trojan lead to double digits.
“They bring that extra spark whenever we need that,” Ramirez said. “That extra burst of energy, they both bring it, especially Jaida tonight. She did a great job of playing within herself and playing within the system and just executing. We got a bunch of good looks off that, and I’m very proud of her for doing that and stepping up.”
Stafford had made it a four-point game midway through the second quarter, but Beeville quickly pulled away.
When Gonzales drilled a triple from the left wing – which came one possession after a Carrah Davis trey – with 1:32 left, Beeville’s lead went to 10, 24-14, and the Lady Spartans never recovered.
Beeville led 26-15 at halftime and 39-27 after three quarters.
Stafford trimmed Beeville’s lead to as few as nine, but the Lady Trojans always had an answer thanks in large part to a passionate defensive performance that produced 11 steals.
Beeville now has seven straight bi-district titles dating back to the 2014-15 season. Lisa Hess guided Beeville to back-to-back first-round wins to start the streak. Paul Yuma then won four straight first-round contests as the Lady Trojans’ coach.
And now Ramirez – who won multiple bi-district titles as a Lady Trojan – has her first as the team’s mentor.
“It’s awesome. It’s one of those feelings that you can’t explain,” she said about leading her alma mater to a bi-district championship. “I’m just so proud of the girls for just the way we’ve gelled all season and come together as a team. It just makes it that much more special with the group that we’ve got and the family that they’ve all become.”
Beeville was slated to face Navarro, which beat the Lady Trojans 54-37 back on Dec. 4, in an area championship game on Feb. 16 in Kenedy.
Longoria finished as Beeville’s leading scorer in the bi-district win, pouring in 14 points to go with nine rebounds.
Davis joined her in double figures with 13 points and also had four rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Gonzales scored nine points, while Lopez scored six points to go with five assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Asia Molina had a team-best 10 rebounds to go with her four points.
Santa Gertrudis 65, Beeville 44
In a playoff warmup game in Kingsville, the Santa Gertrudis Lady Lions bested Beeville.
Beeville led 13-12 after one, but SGA won the second 18-9 and the third 17-9 to take control. The hosts outscored Beeville 18-13 in the fourth.
Longoria went 6 of 10 from the field and connected on 5 of 7 at the line to lead Beeville in scoring with 17 points.
Davis added 11 points, four boards and four assists, while Lopez had 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Aaralyn Del Bosque and Megan Del Bosque both hit 3-pointers for their only points.