Alice girls needed victory to keep their hopes alive

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

Felisha Salinas came away from Tuesday night's big-time win against Flour Bluff with an unwanted souvenir.

With Alice clinging to a four-point lead in the final minute of the game, the Alice High School sophomore was elbowed under her right eye in a mad scramble for a rebound. Salinas will say it was worth it, though. Her efforts helped teammate Ashley Arrellano claim the rebound, which took her to the free-throw line to ice the game and give Alice an important 47-41 victory.

While the Lady Coyotes led for the entire ball game, it was a hard-fought affair and the black eye was proof of it. For Alice, which had lost its previous three District 31-4A games, a win was critical to maintain the team's playoff hopes. The Lady Coyotes (4-3) must win their next two against Kingsville Friday and Robstown Tuesday. Ironically, Flour Bluff (5-3) is in better shape to claim the district's third playoff spot behind Tuloso-Midway (6-2) and Calallen (6-2).

Alice enjoyed a good night offensively with three players putting up double-digit numbers. Olivia Salas led the team with 14, followed closely by Mariah Mandel who scored 13. Arrellano finished the game with 11 points.

Salas began the game with back-to-back three pointers and helped Alice to an 11-2 lead. However, like they did all night, Flour Bluff rallied back.

The Lady Coyotes entered the final period leading 37-26, but despite big baskets by Arrellano and Kim Rea, the Hornets were able to cut Alice's lead to four inside the last minute.

Alice sealed it with a strong defense and key rebounds.