The Llano Ladies authored one of their great runs of the year in the first quarter, January 25, at home against Lampasas, but then had to put a second one together in the fourth to hold off the Badgers 46-34.
“We had a slow start,” said head coach Daryl Friedrich, “but they lit a fuse, really ignited us, and saved our bacon.”
He was talking about Cierra Jordan, who had eight points in the opening period, and Lacey Redden, who had six.
“…Passes to the right side. To Redden. She tries a three! That’s good off the glass!!” Seconds later: “…Ball is stolen by CJ! Up and in!! It’s 14-11!”
The Jackets would lead 17-11 after trailing 8-0.
“At first it was like Brownwood (no points in the second quarter), but then we got our adrenaline going,” said Cierra. “We got after it, and I loved it.”
“We were scared,” Redden admitted, concerning the early deficit, “then realized we have to do it, and we did it.”
But not easily. The game slowed. Manchester United could have scored more goals. The teams totaled 24 points in the second and third quarters, and Llano was only up 30-24 with eight minutes to play.
With 5:55 to go, Nola Bishop got two, and now the tally of this contest was 30-28. Was the coach nervous? He didn’t say yes, but he did note: “We talked about getting our backsides in gear.”
Fortunately for the Jackets, the Badgers’ field goal production was minus gears and out of business, and CJ and Claire Williams recorded quick hoops for six points worth of breathing room.
“The defense stepped up,” declared Friedrich, obviously a bit relieved.
Williams filled another basket and sank two foul shots, and CJ, who had 18 points, was six-for-seven from the free-throw line in the final stanza. The team was 10-for-13.
“We told the girls to be intense,” Friedrich related. “It’s win or out.”
Here’s what he meant: Llano is 3-4 in district play, two games back of Liberty Hill (5-2) and Brownwood (5-2) in the standings. Burnet is 6-1. The top three teams make the playoffs. Three games remain.
Tuesday, January 29, the Jackets lost at Gatesville 38-29, and reaching postseason for the Friedrich Five is against most—if not all—odds. But Redden says it like it should be said: “We must give it our all.”