Last season the Granbury Lady Pirates were sent into the consolation bracket of their own Van Griffith Kia Classic with an early loss.
They bounced back to win the consolation trophy and went on to have a solid run through District 7-4A into the third round of the postseason.
“It would be a fun thing if we could duplicate that, but today wasn’t much fun,” said Lady Pirate coach Leta Andrews after her team dropped a 43-38 opening-round contest to Santo at the James Wann Sports Center.
Thursday’s loss ended a six-game winning streak for the Lady Pirates (6-5).
“We just got outhustled,” said Andrews. “They have a solid little club. Every player contributed, and they have a great quarterback (Breanna Raffaela) running the show.”
Eight of the nine players on the Santo roster scored, led by Chasen Howard with 13 and Raffaela with a dozen. Howard also pulled down nine rebounds.
Granbury’s Bryce Frank led all scorers with 15 points, and topped all rebounders with 10.
Santo (7-2), the No. 13 team in the state in Class A Division I (Granbury is Class 4A), scored the game’s final five points. Fittingly, they all came from Howard and Raffaela.
Raffaela sealed the win with a pair of free throws with two seconds left.
“They’re better than any team we’ve played this year,” said Andrews.
“They rebound perfectly. They crash the boards with four every time a shot goes up.”
Santo used a 6-0 run to take a 31-27 lead early in the fourth, but 3-pointers from Kennedy Shelstead and Morgan Northcutt tied the game at 33 with 4:07 to play.
Trailing 41-38 with six seconds to play, the Lady Pirates inbounded the ball, but a bad pass turned it over the Santo. Forced to foul, Granbury sent Raffaela to the line.
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Van Griffith Kia Basketball Classic
Santo 6 9 10 18 — 43
Granbury 3 13 11 11 – 38
Santo (7-2) scoring leaders – Chasen Howard 13, Breanna Raffaela 12.
Granbury (6-5) scoring – Bryce Frank 15, Kennedy Shelstead 9, Morgan Northcutt 6, Erin Jones 6, Amber Strange 2.
3-pointers – Santo: Flanagan 1. Granbury: Northcutt 2, Shelstead 2.
Rebound leaders – Santo: Howard 9. Granbury: Frank 10.
Steal leaders – Santo: Howard 3. Granbury: Frank 4.
2-point FG – Santo 17-36 (47 percent). Granbury 9-31 (29 percent).
3-point FG – Santo 1-5 (20 percent). Granbury 4-7 (57 percent).
Free throws – Santo 6-10 (60 percent). Granbury 8-14 (57 percent).
Team rebounds – Santo 24. Granbury 24.
Turnovers – Santo 15. Granbury 23.