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LAREDO, Texas - Rio Grande City head coach Gustavo Valenciana felt that his Lady Rattlers were not being the aggressor and that is why they were trading baskets with Laredo Cigarroa in a key District 30-6A game Tuesday night. 

“I told the girls that the game was close - I think we were up by one or two points - because (Laredo Cigarroa) are being the aggressor,” Valenciana said. “We are not being aggressive on offense we are being tentative; we are panicking, we are getting nervous and not doing what we are supposed to do.”

Valenciana specifically challenged Angela Razo, who was held in check the third quarter after opening the game with nine points. Razo responded with seven points to ignite a late 12-0 run as Rio Grande City pulled away for a 40-33 win over Laredo Cigarroa and inched their way closer to a second consecutive District 30-6A title.

Rio Grande City is perfect in district play and at the top of the standings with a 6-0 record, while Cigarroa is 4-2 and in second place. 

Razo scored half of the Lady Rattlers points and finished with a game-high 20 points while Emily Lopez added 15 points for Rio Grande City.

Laredo Cigarroa led 33-28 on a basket by Eunice Cervantes with 4:31 left in the game and that proved to be the last offensive outburst by the Lady Toros as Rio Grande City forced a barrage of turnovers.

The tandem of Razo and Lopez were key throughout the game, but both helped ignite the Lady Rattlers last offensive outburst. Lopez came down the court and worked hard on the block to connect on a basket to make it a 33-30 game. 

After forcing a turnover, Razo flashed to the basket to make it a one-point game. 

The Lady Rattlers took their first lead of the fourth quarter on a basket by Lopez with 2:40 left in the game, then Razo went to work on offense. After hitting a basket at the 2:05 mark she then went on to complete a three-point play after getting fouled by Laredo Cigarroa’s Amanda Arreola, who fouled out on the play. 

Losing Arreola hurt Laredo Cigarroa and the Lady Rattlers took advantage of the opportunity. While their main inside presence, Cervantes, struggled against Rio Grande City, Arreola came in and played big for the Lady Toros. She was able to neutralize Razo and Lopez.

Rio Grande City stretched its lead to six points in the last 1:30 so the Lady Rattlers decided to spread the floor, forcing Laredo Cigarroa to foul in order to stop the clock. Melanie Lopez was sent to the free throw line and made the first one to give Rio Grande City a 40-33 lead with 40.8 seconds to play.

The entire first half Rio Grande City and Laredo Cigarroa traded baskets but it was the Lady Rattlers who held a 15-12 at the end of the opening quarter with Lopez leading the charge with seven points and Razo adding six.

Rio Grande City took a 22-21 halftime lead as Laredo Cigarroa’s Diane Lara hit a late basket. Lara went on to finish with 11 points. 

Laredo Cigarroa did not take their first lead of the second half until a basket by Lara at the 6:12 mark. Both teams hit a dry spell the next six minutes as no one scored. Razo gave Rio Grande City a 28-27 lead after hitting a basket as time expired in the third quarter.