IVANHOE — Two years ago when the Sam Rayburn Lady Rebels were expected to get to the regional tournament, they did.
But this year, when the program had to replace all five starters, and the 50 points they took with them, making the playoffs wasn’t even a guarantee.
Sam Rayburn exceeded even that modest goal, again winning the District 15-A (I) championship and getting to the Region II semifinals before a two-point loss against state semifinalist Santo.
“I was extremely proud of their accomplishments,” Sam Rayburn head coach David Guadiano said. “Coming into this year, all we heard as a group was the reasons we couldn’t do it.”
The Lady Rebels finished 22-10 with only two players from the varsity roster from when Sam Rayburn made the second round last spring.
Guadiano found the right combination that at one point reeled off 10 straight district victories.
And when the Lady Rebels needed to beat Celeste in a tie-breaker for the top seed, they came up with a winning effort.
“There were struggles. There was adversity. We had to dig out of our holes,” Guadiano said. “At the end of the year they came together.”
For his efforts, Guadiano has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Girls Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season.