It was a win, just one win.
But if felt like so much more, and the kids and coaches at Corsicana High wanted to grab it, embrace it and just hold it for a while.
That’s how sweet this one felt.
After all, Friday’s 59-48 District 16-4A opening night win over Nacogdoches was a long time coming.
“Forever. It’s been forever,’’ said Corsicana girls coach Art Prevost, who has turned the program around. “I don‘t know when the last time Corsicana started district out 1-0. It’s got to be in the early 1990s. It’s been forever.”
It wasn’t easy. The Lady Tigers started out slow and trailed by eight points in the first quarter before climbing back to trail 26-25 at halftime.
“We turned the ball over nine times in the first half, and they were playing a straight zone,’’ said Prevost who was upset with his team’s sluggish start. But he loved what he saw the last 12 minutes of the game.‘
It was still a two-point game midway in the third when the Lady Tigers, who were clinging to a 30-28 lead took over the game, ripping off a 12-4 run to end the third quarter to take a 42-32 lead into the fourth.
“I didn’t want to put too much pressure on them with goals when we went into this game, but we didn’t play well early. We were a little lax,” Prevost said. “But we really had a good second half. The kids really put it together. We were playing with energy. We were playing with excitement and we were executing. I’m proud of us as a group.’’
The Lady Tigers forced six turnovers in the final four minutes of the third and four more in the opening moments of the fourth, and just pulled away from Nacogdoches.
“We started recognizing where everybody was on the floor and we got our (fast break) going and started executing,’’ said Erica Melendez, who had a double-double, dropping in 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. “We just took over.”
When Melendez wasn’t making Nacogdoches pay inside sophomore Destini Lunsford was. She finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Lunsford (9) and Melendez (5) scored Corsicana’s first 14 points of the fourth quarter as the Lady Tigers built a 56-41 lead.
“It’s exciting,’’ said Melendez, a senior who remembers last year’s start in the district race. Corsicana won just one district game least season.
“There are no words for how it feels to win the first district game,” Melendez said. “All I know is we one only one district game all of last year and we‘ve already got a win. It feels awesome.’’
The Lady Tigers are now 15-6 for the season.
“Our goal was to win 20 games and make the playoffs,’’ Prevost said. “We are two-thirds of the way there to 20. We made the plays down the stretch.
“I couldn’t be happier with the play of my point guard Alexis Baston,” he said. “She‘s really been a leader for us.’’
Baston finished with nine points and Shay Shay Taylor added a point from the guard spot. Kennady Betts scored seven points and had two rebounds before fouling out and Ariel Bartee scored three points. Briana Biltz scored two points and grabbed two rebounds.
It doesn’t get easier. Corsicana goes on the road Tuesday to face defending district champ Lindale.
But they can enjoy this one for a while -- it took a while to get here.
It was a win, just one win.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week