Girls basketball reaches Final Four for the first time in school history; fall to Duncanville
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The Lady Rockets came into the game as the underdogs in the 6A State Semifinals against the best ranked team in 6A Division, the Duncanville Panthers (37-2). The Rockets were hoping to come out on top and move on to the State Finals against Cypress Ranch (32-7)
“I think once we get over that fear factor, we’re gonna be alright,” head coach Triva Corrales said. “We have to come out and play hard, play our game and win or lose, we’ll come out a champion.”
The Panthers won the tip off and didn’t hesitate to start off fast, making a corner three pointer to start off the game. Judson answered back with a layup from center Heaven Mbaruk. With the Panthers having the early lead and momentum, they stole the ball away and turned it into easy points. Quickly, guard Kyra White made a deep corner three to quite the crowd and forced them to call a timeout. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the Panthers were playing good defense to have momentum and take the lead back. With a minute left, White drained another three pointer to make it a three point game going into the second quarter, 15-12.
White quickly scored an easy layup to start the second quarter, but the Panthers made a three pointer and forced Judson to make another timeout. With the Panthers holding on to the lead, guard Chantel Govan made a deep three pointer to cut the lead by five with 2:40 left in the second quarter. Shortly after the three pointer, Govan made a jumper to cut it to three points, making Duncanville call a timeout. The Rockets stole the ball and White made another corner three pointer to make it a tie game, 24-24. With seconds left, the Panthers made a free throw to go into half with a one point game, 24-25.
To start off the third quarter, the Panthers continued their tough defensive stand and forced a steal, contributing it into points, which led Judson to call a timeout. After the timeout, Judson started getting into a rhythm until the Panthers shut them down with a three pointer and extended the lead 38-28. With the Rockets being frustrated, they were forcing bad shots and fouling, putting them into a hole going into the fourth quarter, 40-28.
In the fourth quarter, Judson scored first from a fast break from Mbaruk. But the Panthers answered back quickly, making Judson call another timeout. With the Panthers making it difficult for Judson to score any points, they forced the Rockets to make costly mistakes to put them in a deeper hole. With two minutes left in the quarter, the Panthers were trying to waste time on the clock to seal the game.
With Judson still playing their hearts out, it wasn’t enough to stop Duncanville and lost the game, 41-53.
The Lady Rockets made everyone in the Judson community very proud for going this far and making history, winning the Region IV championship for the first time in school history. For the seniors, they walk out of their high school experience knowing they left behind a good legacy. For the underclassmen, they will learn from this loss and strive to do even better to win a state title.