Shout it from the rooftops, break out the bubbly. The Captain Shreve Lady Gators are your District 1-5A champions for the first time in 50 years – the first since the school began, heck, maybe since time began.
Not even when the great Danielle Butler was roaming the Gator pen under the late Carolyn Boydstun did the team enjoy this success.
The renaissance in the girls’ basketball program was capped with a relatively easy 65-46 victory over injury riddled Evangel Tuesday night in the Lady Eagles’ gym. The Lady Gators clinched at least a share of the title that has been mostly owned by Southwood over the years. If Keith Green’s club can defeat Byrd Friday night, they have the title all alone.
“This is a great feeling, especially for my three seniors,” Greene said. “Angel Bush, Victoria Hart and Kaylynn Armstrong have been here when we were very bad and now they’ve been here to see this success.”
The Lady Gators (25-5, 10-1) were 3-21 in 201 and 4-22 in 2015. Last year they gave fans a hint with a 16-12 overall mark while finishing 6-6 and tied for fourth in the district race. Shreve boys’ coach Todd Martinez was shaking his head in amazement, while principal Ginger Gustavson and volleyball/track coach Marita Hunt were also overwhelmed.
“I told people that I would only become principal of Captain Shreve if we won the girls’ basketball title,” Gustavson joked. “This is really special.”
Tuesday’s game had all the makings of a championship fight, but without two seniors and just 8 players, Evangel (24-7, 9-2) wasn’t in a great position to withstand the speed and depth of Shreve. It didn’t help that the regulars turned the ball over, missed runners in the lane and got beat on the vast majority of the 50-50 balls.
“They just wanted it more than we did,” Evangel coach Meoka Young said. “We didn’t play defense or rebound, but we’ll be OK. We’re third in our division. We just have to get ready for Southwood Friday night.”
The Lady Gators started hot and stayed that way, never allowing the Lady Eagles to get a solid run going. It was 23-13 after the first quarter and 33-18 midway through the second.
Evangel was able to cut the deficit to just 8 points (35-27) on a Tiara Young 12-footer just 10 seconds into the second half. But points from Dezyre Black, Aaliyah Stevenson, Hart and Bush got the Shreve back to 14 points midway through the frame and they were never threatened.
“Our game plan was to play hard, play together and have fun,” Black said. “We all worked together to make this happen.”
Black led the way for Shreve with 19 points while Stevenson added 16 and Heard 13. Young led all scorers with 25 points and Madison Laboy added 11.