BY MARK BRENT
Attempting to make a push into the playoffs, the Cooper City High School’s Lady Cowboys were forced to beat Florida’s 15th ranked team in the Class 8A District 15 Girls Basketball Semifinals. Played on Tuesday, January 31st, the Cooper City Cowboys lost to the Nova Titans in what seemed to be a blowout.
From the start of the game, the Cowboys fell behind. The Nova Titan defense seemed to be too much for the lady Cowboys, as the Titans were executing the press technique to perfection. A full-court press is a defensive style in which the defense applies pressure to the offensive team the entire length of the court before and after the inbound pass. This defense allowed the Titans to force turnovers throughout the duration of the game. In the first quarter, great defense led to quick baskets for Nova. At the end of the first, the Titans led 13-2, but this was just the beginning.
Once the Titans gained the lead, they never looked back. Led by Junior Markala Roland, who is 6’3 and Nova’s main source of rebounds, the Titans maintained possession of the ball and solidified their dominance over the Cowboys. In the second quarter, the Cowboys were limited to 3 points, scored by Caitlin Dunn. At halftime, the Cowboys were trailing the Titans 38-5.
During halftime, the Nova Titan band was electric. They were energizing both the Nova Titan fans, and players during the halftime warm ups. For the Cowboys, Head Coach Loraine Brown was determined to make adjustments from the original game plan and make a comeback. However, at this point, a Cowboy comeback would need a miracle.
In the third quarter, the Cowboys’ change of game plan seemed to fail. The Titans, who stuck to the press for the entirety of the game, dominated. They managed to add one a plethora of additional points. The Cowboys, however, could only score 3 points.
The fourth quarter had the same result as the previous quarters. Nova managed to tack on another large amount of points, and kept their starters in for the rest of the game. Although the Cowboys never surrendered, it wasn’t enough to stop the Titan dominance. The game ended with a Nova Titan victory of 71-11.
This season did not turn out the way the Cowboys had wanted, but the Cowboys efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“I feel like we had to overcome a lot of adversity throughout the season, but we did the best we could do and I’m glad to have ended the season with this family,” said Senior Guard Caitlin Dunn. “I hope that the varsity players after me continue to give it their all, but to also remember to have fun and enjoy the ride,” said Dunn.
With this season in the history books, the offseason has officially started for the Cowboys. For the Titans, they continue practicing for their District Finals against the South Broward Bulldogs.