By Kevin Wilson
FLOYD — The Floyd Lady Broncos earned a first-place trophy to remember the inaugural Floyd America Tournament, despite a fourth quarter they’d rather forget.
The Lady Broncos put together a season-best, three-game winning streak at the Floyd America Tournament, holding off Springer 39-32 in Saturday’s final game at Floyd High School.
Jewlie Paiz scored 13 points to lead Floyd, which didn’t score for a 7:14 stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters but still held off a late charge from the visiting Lady Red Devils.
The tournament was played in a round-robin format, but Floyd (5-2) claimed first place in the three-day event by virtue of wins over Springer, Bovina and Desert Academy.
“Thursday, we came out and played really well against Bovina,” Floyd coach Sean Wootton said. “Friday and Saturday, I think we played well at times, but we struggled at points.
“That’s going to happen any time you’re young and we’re young, but we’re not executing our offense really well now.”
Springer could make that same claim early.
Playing without two starters, the Lady Red Devils failed to put together any type of offensive rhythm in the first half. At halftime, Springer trailed 19-9, but a 16 percent shooting in the first half (4-of-25) made the lead seem much more insurmountable.
Springer coach Mike Glasman said he was forced to go with some younger players, who he hopes will play with the same energy at a tournament Thursday in Trinidad, Colo., as they did during a 14-3 fourth quarter.
“One good thing is that some of the younger players played,” Glasman said. “Some impressed me more than the older girls. I hope we can build off of that when I get those starters back.”
Crystal Arellano had 12 points to lead Springer, including three 3-pointers during a 13-0 fourth-quarter run to cut an 18-point deficit down to five, at 36-31.
The Lady Broncos finally ended the drought with 1:16 left, as Kelli Johnson (eight points) hit a baseline jumper to seal the win in what was an off-game for Floyd. Floyd shot 18-of-43, including a 1-for-13 fourth quarter, and went 0 for 2 from 3-point range.
“What was funny was that we were looking to shoot a little more from the outside (coming in),” Wootton said, “and we weren’t executing well enough to do that.”
Kathleen McLeroy scored eight points for Springer, while Darcee Chenault and Cindy Andrade each added five for Floyd.
Both Floyd basketball teams will be in action again Tuesday at Grady.