COAHOMA — The drought — the victory drought, that is — is over for the Coahoma Bulldogs and Bulldogettes.
The two teams each notched their first District 3-2A wins of the season Friday night vs. Post — the Bulldogs rallied from a first-quarter deficit to take a 63-55 win over the Antelopes, while the Bulldogettes found themselves on the high side of a 55-41 score.
The Bulldogettes improved to 6-19 overall and 1-8 in league play, while the Bulldogs improved to 1-6 in the district standings.
Both teams return to action Tuesday at Forsan.
Coahoma 63, Post 55
In recent games, the Bulldogs have started strong but faded down the stretch. Friday, they reversed that script.
Coahoma trailed after one quarter, but rallied to claim a one-point lead at the half. The Bulldogs then took control of the game with a 14-2 run to open the second half and held on for the win.
Tanner Ruiz scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs. Also scoring in double figures for Coahoma was Aaron Acevedo with 11 points and Alex Hill with 10.
The first league win of the season left Coahoma Coach Kim Nichols relieved.
“I'm happy for the kids — even with all the losses, they've kept coming to work every day and doing their jobs,” he said. “”When we got down early, they kept their composure and settled down, and after that they did a fine job.”
Ruiz, Acevedo and Hill comibed for 11 of the Bulldogs' first 12 points of the second quarter to cut Post's lead to 22-21, then a Ryan Reid three-pointer with 2:03 left in the half gave Coahoma its first lead of the night.
The Antelopes briefly regained the lead behind field goals from Jake Perez and Corbin McDonald, but Brandon Iden scored on consecutive trips down the floor to give Coahoma a 28-27 lead at intermission.
Nichols said the run to open the third was a case of everything falling into place for the Bulldogs.
“We were able to get out and run a little bit; we haven't been able to do that lately,” he said. “We were able to get some points inside and when (Post) adjusted to that, it opened things up for outside.”
Perhaps fittingly, however, the Bulldogs would have to sweat a bit to earn their first district win. McDonald scored all 10 of Post's points during the last four minutes of the third quarter to help the Antelopes whittle the deficit down to 46-41.
The Antelopes pushed even harder in the final quarter, twice cutting the lead down to two points, but clutch free throws — the Bulldogs were 15 for 20 from the free-throw line — allowed Coahoma to escape with the victory.
The Bulldogs' game with Forsan is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tipoff Tuesday.
Coahoma 55, Post 41
The Bullodogettes used an early barrage of three-pointers to claim their first district win of the season.
Coahoma's long-range gunners staked the Bulldogettes to a 14-9 lead after one quarter, then kept the rain coming in the second eight minutes. Jennifer Castilaw, who led all scorers with 19 points, had a pair of three-pointers and Minnie Goodblanket, who scored 17 points, added another to extend the Bulldogettes' lead to 27-13 at intermission.
“They're not afraid shoot the ball,” Coahoma Coach Mitzi Bell said. “We try to run an open offense, and when we're hitting our outside shots, that forces the other team to come out and defend us, which opens things up inside.”
Despite a mild Post rally in the final quarter, the Bulldogettes' lead was not seriously threatened in the second half.
Like Nichols, Bell expressed relief that her team's losing streak was over.
“We knew we'd eventually win one,” she said. “We've talked about finishing the season strong. Even though we're not fighting for a playoff spot, if we're able to finish strong, that will say a lot about this team's character.”
The Bulldogettes' game with Forsan begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.