With two more victories, which could very well come before the New Year, the Midlothian Heritage girls' basketball team will set a new school record for wins in a season.
And, after Tuesday's home victory against reigning District 8-4A champion and 4A state semifinalist, Godley, the Jaguars are now three district wins shy of tying last year's total.
Before speaking about the 45-32 win, Heritage head girls' basketball coach Jason Hodges tipped his hat to Godley head coach Mark Chauveaux, stating "I’ve lost a lot of games to that man. They came in and played us hard."
“I knew it was going to be a battle," Hodges said. "[...] I feel that this year, we have a special team. That was our 18th win of the season. We are playing hard. We are playing right. We are doing those little things that are giving us the edge. I knew it was going to be a battle tonight but in the end, I felt that we were going to the better team, and it showed.”
The Jaguars found themselves down 11-6 after the first quarter but flipped the script in the second for a 19-16 halftime lead.
After the game, Hodges said he reminded his girls at halftime about the days spent in the weight room getting stronger and all of the countless trips up and down the court conditioning in the offseason. He then made a few minor adjustments and decided to let their physical conditioning take over.
"Those two things are what factored into the second half. I think we wore them down. I do not feel like they could keep up with us and in the end, it showed," he said. "We were able to pull away.”
Heritage outscored the Godley Wildcats 18-8 in the third quarter for all of the separation the Jaguars needed to hold on to the 13-point win, 45-32.
Jasmine Bailey led the Jaguars with 12 points, while Danie Wallace scored 10, Saige Klor had eight, and Blythe Williams chipped in six. Emma Arnold and Karena Tipton both tallied four points, and Rachael Gray added one.
Heritage is now 18-1 on the season and 2-0 in District 8-4A. The Jaguars are ranked No. 13 in the TABC 4A poll.
The Jaguar girls will join the Heritage boys in Lubbock to participate in the 59th annual FiberMax Caprock Classic. The 85-team field is self-dubbed "The world's largest high school tournament" and features teams from Texas, Oklahoma, and Australia.
Heritage opens the three-day tournament that runs Dec. 28-30 on Thursday, Dec. 28 against Lubbock High at 1:30 p.m.
Hodges said he expects his girls to continue to compete and work toward the full-slate of district games on the horizon.
"We need to work on defense. We need work on our transition. I hope we are not peaking right now, but I don’t think we are, and there is always room for improvement" Hodges said. "With these big games coming after Christmas, we are going to have to work on them so we can knock off those teams as well. We are a work in progress."