This Alice Lady Coyotes basketball team takes great pride in being intense and almost overly-aggressive. It’s trait they’ve especially displayed in these last few weeks of the season.

“We fight like it’s our last game every time,” Alice sophomore Criselda Cruz said. “We fight like we’re going to come out on time every single time. Whether we’re down by 20 or up by 20, we fight until the end, because that’s what Lady Coyotes do.”

That philosophy has paid off. With a convincing 53-33 victory against Gregory-Portland Tuesday night, the Alice girls have won four of their last five games to put themselves in an ideal situation as the regular season draws to a conclusion.

By beating Gregory-Portland, a team they lost to by nine in mid-January, Alice has completed a comeback from the bottom of the North Zone standings to the top half and is now in contention for cross-over game against the the top South Zone teams for one of District 30-5A’s four playoff spots.

By beating G-P and with Corpus Christi Ray’s win over Tuloso-Midway Tuesday night, the Lady Coyotes are in a position to end the regular season in a tie for second or third in the North Zone. Their final position depends on the outcome of their game Friday against Calallen on the road.

Either way, if they end in a tie with Tuloso-Midway for second or a third-place tie with Gregory-Portland, the Lady Coyotes could face a playoff to determine the final North Zone standings. The top three North Zone teams will play the top three South Zone teams to determine which teams represent 30-5A in the Class 5A state playoffs.

Alice coach Amanda Gonzalez is taking it all in stride and said her girls deserve all of the credit because of the way they’ve played in the last three weeks.

“It was a big win for us (tonight),” Gonzalez said. “The girls are fighting hard to get a spot in the cross games, so it was a good win for us… exciting. They play with a lot of heart. There’s nothing else more than I can ask of them.”

Alice overwhelmed Gregory-Portland Tuesday night but running to a 21-9 first period lead. Cruz led the charge with 10 points. The Lady Wildcats closed the gap in the second, but the Lady Coyotes held a 26-19 led at halftime.

The Lady Coyotes’ relentless defense shutdown the Lady Wildcats in the third period. While Gregory-Portland was held scoreless, Alice stretched its lead to 43-19 to seal the win.

Cruz led all scorers with 22 points. Jakki Barrera scored nine, including two three-pointers. Kayla Escobar and Alex Garcia each chipped in seven.