GIRLS BASKETBALL: Sam Houston makes one last stand for Lamkin

Hurricanes battle back against Floresville in bi-district



Sam Houston girls basketball coach Milyse Lamkin died in August, but the legacy she left never was far from her former player’s thoughts and actions throughout the recently completed season.

Never was that more true than in the Hurricanes’ final game, a 73-54 loss to Floresville (17-14) Tuesday in the Class 5A bi-district round at the University of the Incarnate Word. Sam Houston (18-9) fell behind by a nearly unsurmountable margin early in the third quarter, then ran off 15 unanswered points in a testament to Lamkin’s legacy.

“It was intensity,” first-year Sam Houston coach Marchae Keno said. “Their halftime lead was big, but I reminded them that Coach Lamkin was all about competing – regardless of the score.

“It was a game of runs – they made theirs and we came back with a great run. It was just an amazing effort.”

Sam Houston started five seniors in its final game. Keno said that was another nod to her mentor Lamkin, who lost a long battle to cancer.

“I thought that’s what she would do,” said Keno, a former Hurricanes player who was Lamkin’s assistant coach at the time of her death.

“That’s who we started with. That’s who we ended with.”

The lineup adjustment brought quick results.

Sam Houston led 9-8 with 3:22 remaining in the first quarter, after senior Monisha Jones (21 points, 6 rebounds) scored four-consecutive points. Fed by four Hurricanes turnovers in a row, Floresville scored 11 of the next 13 points in what turned out to be a 17-4 run.

The Jaguars led 43-26 by halftime, with help from three 3-point baskets from guard McClaine Pawelek (20 points, 4 assists).

“She had a great, great shooting night,” Floresville coach Terri Pfluger said. “McClaine’s a really good shooter, but she hadn’t made four in a game before.

“Making those outside shots opened up the inside.”

A three-pointer from Pawelek with 4:03 left in the third quarter gave the Jaguars a 54-31 lead. It also triggered Sam Houston’s run.

Jones scored seven points in a row before the quarter ended with Sam Houston trailing 59-46. The senior scored off a rebound, on two free throws and finally a three-point shot. Senior Jordyn Stewart (16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) added a pair of free throws to the run.

“Monisha and Jordyn impressed me,” Keno said. “Monisha developed a lot this year. Jordyn is going to fight, you never have to question that.”

Sam Houston freshman Ashawntae Brown (8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocked shots) opened the fourth quarter with a driving layup that finished the run. Floresville increased its lead to 61-48 on a basket from 6-foot-2 Hannah Knight (13 points) inside. Sam Houston prevented the lead from growing until the Jaguars made their free throws in the final two minutes.

“They’re really good,” Pfluger said. “They have a lot of athletic players. We needed to play great defense and be really solid in blocking out.”

The Hurricanes will lose five of its 11 players to graduation, but Keno hopes their influence will carry over to next season.

“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Keno said, “but I was fortunate as a first-year coach to have some great seniors. I kept challenging them. They listened and did what I asked. I’m very proud of them.”

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