FALFURRIAS — When coach Daniel Johnson took over the Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco Lady Badgers basketball team, he heard plenty from doubters.
Coming off a five-win season in 2016 and with a roster which included only one senior, the expectations were anything but high.
“They told me with this team, if you can break .500, we'd be going good,” Johnson said. “Well, this has been one of the most gratifying seasons ever. To go from five wins last year to playing Freer for the district championship and coming within three of winning and then eclipsing 20 wins and now winning a playoff game… I’ll tell you what, it’s a great season."
The Lady Badgers’ playoff victory came in a 58-39 decision against Lasara in the Class 2A bi-district round Monday night in Falfurrias. Freshman Carrie Johnson led the Lady Badgers with 24 points and 13 rebounds. She also had six assists, three blocks, 13 steals and nine deflections.
Macy Carrillo added 14 points and Stephani Hernandez had 13 points, 20 rebounds and nine steals. Lorena Estrada and Sandra Perez had five points each and Stephanie Salinas scored two points and nine rebounds.
“All of these girls played awesome, every girl on the roster contributed tonight,” Johnson said. “It's been a good ride going 25-4, being so young, having one senior, it just makes it more gratifying. There has been a lot of doubt regarding this group, and they keep defeating the odds… very special team.
It was a stellar performance by a team made up of one senior, six freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors.
“Carrie, Macy, and Steph really controlled the tempo all night for both teams, they are a three that when they are on, they are fun to watch,” Johnson said.
“Carrie led the way, distributing the ball, and attacking well, her triple double was huge. Hernandez, our only senior, played hurt all night, nursing an ankle, and it didn't affect her once. Macy too did her thing, spotting up, attacking the rim, and just being in the right place at the right time. Lorina Estrada, might not have the numbers, but I'll tell you right now, we don't win without her on the court.”
With the victory, the Lady Badgers (25-4) are moving on to the area round where they will play Falls City at Tilden at 6 p.m. Thursday.