LAUGHLIN — The Laughlin High School varsity basketball teams closed out the 2019-2020 season with true grace winning in makeup matches against Mountain View Christian while losing the final games to Lincoln County.
The Lady Cougars took it to the Mountain View Christian Lady Saints in a rough and tumble game that saw the Cougars winning handily, 32-14.
Teri Santos, Ashley Bishop and Alexis Rios were pumped up for the game with all three playing at a frenetic pace, making multiple steals and scoring on many possessions. Santos played with her trademark scrappiness going after the ball no matter who had it or where it was while Rios and Bishop charged the net, scoring on close-in layups in heavy traffic.
Assistant coach Zelenski said after the game that he was pleased with the performance.
“They did a great job considering we’re down three players due to injury,” he said. “We lost two to twisted ankles and one to a jammed thumb last week, and still they took the win.”
Savannah Santillo was seen on the sideline in an ankle brace cheering her team on for the win.
The boys also went after a win right out the gate with Diego Trujillo, Malik Ksouri, Yonel Vasquez, Ty Olden and the Tyrell Gonzalez taking it to the Saints with reckless abandon and serious intent, powering the Cougars to a 43-33 triumph.
The speed of Trujillo and Ksouri and the fight of Olden and Vasquez simply outpaced the Saints, who put it all out to keep pace with the Cougars.
Next up came the closeout game which unfortunately for Laughlin was against the number one team in the division, Lincoln County. That mattered little to the Lady Cougars, who took right after the Lady Lynx’s from the start with previously injured Julia Thomas back on the court for Laughlin.
Lincoln County got out ahead of the Lady Cougars early, but the Cougars played with a ferocity borne of resolve to put up a fight in their season finale.
Bishop was on fire for this last game, making the lion’s share of shots from outside the lane while Rios, Thomas and Santos played scrappily inside and under the basket, fighting for every point and rebound.
The effort, though game, was not enough to prevent the Lynx from taking a 49-21 victory.
The Lady Cougars closed out at 4-20 overall and 2-10 in league play.
In the boys game, Trujillo, Ksouri, Gonzalez and several others came at the top-rated Lynx like wildcats and the game was a very fast-paced contest with both teams playing all out.
Lincoln County prevailed 58-37.
The Lynx had height that few other teams did, and that was reflected by the denial of both Ksouri and Vasquez on visits through the lane.
Lincoln County’s big men — Jaydon Heaton at 6-foot-5 and Connor Carter at 6-3 — made things difficult on the Cougars at both ends of the floor. Still, Trujillo and Ksouri managed to get inside on occasions and the 6-4 Gonzalez put up a battle against the Lynx’s twin towers.
Laughlin underclassman Frederick McCoo, a 6-5 prospect for the future, got playing time late in the game and scored a couple of times inside, perhaps a glimpse at the Cougars’ future.
The Cougars ended the season at 5-17 overall, 1-14 in the 2A Southern League.