in Girls Basketball

Clifton Lady Cubs Gaona, Gonzalez named to All-District 17-3A team despite seeing postseason hopes devastated by key injuries

Despite entering the 2022-23 Texas high school girls basketball season with a veteran squad focused on returning to the playoffs, the Clifton Lady Cubs saw their quest derailed by multiple injuries to key starters at the holiday break.

Consequently, Clifton came up short on advancing to the Class 3A playoffs, but the Lady Cubs earned All-District 17-3A accolades for their valiant effort to overcome adversity. Juniors Laylah Gaona and Brianna Gonzalez were selected to the all-district, first-team, while senior Carley Caniford and junior Kate Humphreys were placed on the all-district, second -team. Junior Reagan Thomas received honorable mention recognition.

“The girls selected were recognized by the other district coaches for the hard work they put in out on the court,” Clifton girls basketball head coach Whitney Holdbrook said. “The girls had a tough battle this year. They learned a lot from each game. I believe this will push them in the offseason to prepare for next year. “

With four juniors selected to the all-district teams, the Lady Cubs have plenty to look forward to next season. Gaona led the Lady Cubs in scoring by averaging 8.6 points per game while pulling down 4.0 rebounds per game and shooting 35.6 percent from three-point range. As the other part of an effective duo, Gonzalez averaged 8.4 points per game and and hit the boards for 5.0 rebounds per game.

With the wrap up of the season, the Lady Cubs (3-9 in district, 13-17 overall) said goodbye to seniors Carley Caniford, a three-year letterman and two-year captain; Camryn Caniford, a three-year letterman; Kambrie Kettler, a three-year letterman; and Kimberlee Walker, a one-year letterman. Clifton celebrated Senior Night during the final game of the first round District 17-3A competition by posting a dominating 79-3 win over the Waco Harmony Science Jan. 13.

“We will be losing four seniors who have contributed a lot to this team,”Holdbrook said. “Each player will be missed as several of them have been on varsity the last three seasons,” Holdbrook said. “They contributed 40 points out of the team’s 79 points against Harmony. The seniors brought a lot of energy to the court and made it a great game to watch.”


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