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By Clara Sandoval 

LAREDO, Texas - The Laredo Alexander girls basketball team finished the opening round of District 30-6A on a sour note, dropping an overtime heartbreaker to rival Laredo United.

Heading into Tuesday’s matchup against Laredo Nixon, Laredo Alexander was focused on getting back on track. 

The Lady Bulldogs (16-10, 4-2) pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back, picking up a convincing 57-33 victory over Laredo Nixon on Tuesday night.

The tandem of seniors Sophia Villalobos and Kayla Herrera, who started playing together in elementary school, have formed an unbreakable bond over the years. Now playing in their final season together, the duo are leaving everything on the court for Laredo Alexander. 

On Tuesday night Villalobos and Herrera each scored in double figures to lead the offense. Villalobos is one of the most versatile basketball players in the Gateway City and never hesitates to play any position on the court. 

After opening the game as the point guard - where she hit a couple of perimeter shots to help Laredo Alexander stay on pace with Laredo Nixon in the opening quarter - Villalobos moved to the paint the rest of the way and flourished. She finished with a game-high 19 points.

Herrera has been a scoring machine for Laredo Alexander. She dropped 17 points against Laredo Nixon after coming off a 30-point performance on Friday. Herrera has an elusive hesitation step to the basket that leaves defenders frozen in their shoes. 

Laredo Alexander took an 11-10 lead after the opening quarter and that was the last time Laredo Nixon kept the game close despite making a run in the second quarter.

Herrera converted a 3-point play to help ignite an 11-2 run for Laredo Alexander in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs led 22-10 before Danica Robles hit a layup to make it a 22-12 game. 

Laredo Nixon (16-14, 2-5) finished the first half on a 6-2 run to close the gap to 27-18 heading into halftime.

The 10-minute intermission did nothing to slow down Herrera, who came out firing with a pair of baskets to open the second half. Herrera went on to score 10 points in the quarter and helped Laredo Alexander build its biggest lead at 52-23. 

Laredo Alexander also started looking for their two players in the paint, Villalobos and Samantha Carranza. The duo controlled the paint and Laredo Nixon had no answer for them. 

Carranza caught fire in the second half and finished with 10 points, all coming in the paint. 

Laredo Nixon’s offense stalled after the second quarter. The Lady Mustangs had a hard time finding the basket after Laredo Alexander utilized their 1-2-2 full court press. The press was disruptive, leading to steals and transition baskets at the other end of the floor. 

Laredo Alexander has little time to enjoy their victory as they turn around and play Del Rio on Wednesday in a game that was postponed from the first round due to COVID protocols. 

PHOTO GALLERY

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