The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Lady Pirate basketball team hung close with the Robstown Lady Cotton Pickers but could not gain a lead, losing 53-40 Friday, Jan. 24 at Robstown.

RFHS’ district record moves to 4-5 and its overall record 14-14.

The Lady Pirates trailed Robstown for most of the game, but were never out of contention. However, after a reversed call late in the game that went in favor of Robstown, RFHS could not find a way to get back in it.

“I thought we competed really well. We had two girls out, one had food poisoning and another one’s got the flu so we were down to eight,” said RFHS Head Girls Basketball Coach Mark Malone. “It still comes down to us being young still and when you make three or four mistakes in a game, that costs us.”

In the first quarter, RFHS played tight with Robstown as Kaylee Howell went 2-2 on free throws and added in a bucket. A 3-point field goal (FG) by Mikayla Molina also helped RFHS keep pace. Robstown continued battling to the end of the quarter and hit a 3-point FG to extend its lead 16-10.

In the second, both teams put up big defensive efforts against each other and resulted in eight points for each team. Jordan Malone opened the quarter with a three point shot to make it 16-13 early. RFHS struggled on offense after that, going five minutes without another made basket. Robstown slowly built a lead until with two minutes remaining, Malone hit another 3-point FG to make it 24-16. Howell went full court in a following possession to make a layup and put the score at 24-18 to end the half.

In the third, RFHS continued to hang around with Robstown and hit shots when they needed to prevent the Lady Pickers from pulling away. Howell was working the paint well and giving Robstown problems. Robstown began to go on a run midway through the quarter but lost momentum after Molly Frost pulled up for a good 3-point FG. Howell added another four points on a layup and went 2-2 at the line to end the quarter trailing 37-29.

In the fourth, Robstown opened the quarter with a 3-point FG and put RFHS in a hole quickly. RFHS shortened the lead on another 3-point FG by Molina, but just couldn’t put enough possessions together to catch the Lady Pickers. Late in the game, a controversial call that was initially called a charge by a Robstown guard was reversed to a blocking foul on J. Malone. It was a heated decision as Coach M. Malone argued the reversal after the referee reversed the initial call following a discussion with the head coach of Robstown. The call gave Robstown two shots and inevitably put away the chances of an RFHS comeback.

Howell led RFHS in scoring with 19 points.

J. Malone scored eight points and Molina finished with six points.

With RFHS sitting alone for fifth place in District 31-4A standings with five games remaining, Head Coach M. Malone said the girls have an opportunity to jump Sinton or West Oso for a playoff spot.

“The way everybody’s beating up on each other in the top four spots, us sitting in a solid fifth place is a good situation. Especially when we have West Oso, Sinton, and Beeville left; which are all games we had leads in, they’re all winnable games,” said M. Malone.

RFHS played Ingleside Tuesday, Jan. 28. They play again at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at home versus West Oso.

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