The Dallas Diesel Women’s Basketball team of the (WBCBL) returns 5-0 to Dallas, Texas as the 2016 Rosarito Clasico Champions. The Lady Diesel spent four days and nights south of the border in Rosarito Baja California, Mexico for the annual Rosarito Invitational Women’s Basketball Tournament. The event featured a very diverse combination of skill levels and styles of play with teams from Arizona, California, Georgia, Mexico, and Texas.
The Dallas Diesel rolled through the first and second rounds of play into the semi-finals to face a very aggressive UABC team. After a tough first half, the Lady Diesel shifted into overdrive to go on to win 78-41 and advance into the finals. To claim the championship, the Diesel had to face 4-time reigning defending champion Las Tucson Sol, which is also a member of the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL).
Las Tucson Sol jumped to an early 10-point lead in the 1st quarter as the Diesel struggled to get in gear. At the half, the Sol still held a 10-point advantage over the Lady Diesel. But then it happened: the Lady Diesel came alive and started running the floor on all cylinders, making a series of big plays and getting the crowd excited. Jillianne Duffey (6’1 Forward – Texas A&M Corpus Christi Univ.) and Danai Woods (5’3 Guard – Univ. of Texas Tyler) knocked down back-to-back jumpers to spark things up, off back-to-back steals by Miesha Blackshear (5’7 Guard – Univ. Texas at Permian Basin) and Connie James-Roseman (5’8 Guard – Long Island Univ.). The excitement of the crowd seemed to fuel the Lady Diesel to catch their second wind and take a 7 point lead by the end of the 3rd quarter.
In the 4th quarter, a costly turnover and two quick fouls by the Dallas Diesel gave the Tucson Sol the opportunity to capitalize on the Diesel’s mistakes to make the score 55-53, with only 0:09 left on the clock. The Sol went to the foul-line for a pair of free-throws but only made one, bringing the score to 55-54. The missed attempt bounced long to the right, but the rebound was quickly recovered in the corner by the Las Tucson Sol. With only 0:07 remaining, Tucson tried to square up for one last shot, but was instantly trapped by Dallas Diesel veterans Chantoya Hawkins (5’5 Guard – Oklahoma State Univ.) and Layla Schwarz-McCray (6’4 Forward – Oklahoma Baptist Univ.). McCray was able to come up with the steal and secure the ball and victory as the remaining 0:04 ticked away.
“It wasn’t quite the way I wanted it to go, with the flat start and sluggishness, but I’m very proud of our ladies’ tenacity to fight through it by the grace of God. This was a great experience for us and great momentum for us to carry forward into our upcoming WBCBL season.” -Dallas Diesel Head Coach, Willie McCray.