Lady Rockets win 6A State Championship

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Lady Rockets win 6A State Championship

The 2018-2019 girls basketball team poses with their medals, plaque, and UIL 6A state championship poster for the media groups on the floor. This is the first girls basketball state championship at Judson.

The 2018-2019 girls basketball team poses with their medals, plaque, and UIL 6A state championship poster for the media groups on the floor. This is the first girls basketball state championship at Judson.

Photo By: Dre'Quan Crawford

The 2018-2019 girls basketball team poses with their medals, plaque, and UIL 6A state championship poster for the media groups on the floor. This is the first girls basketball state championship at Judson.

Photo By: Dre'Quan Crawford

Photo By: Dre'Quan Crawford

The 2018-2019 girls basketball team poses with their medals, plaque, and UIL 6A state championship poster for the media groups on the floor. This is the first girls basketball state championship at Judson.

On Saturday, the Lady Rockets (38-5) faced off in the 6A state championship playoff game against the DeSoto Eagles (30-7).

In the first quarter, DeSoto struck first with an early layup, but senior Kyra White answered with a three-pointer to get the Rocket offense started. DeSoto relied early on freshmen Amina Mohammed and sophomore Kendall Brown to get points early from the free throw line. Meanwhile, White hit a three-pointer and senior Corina Carter began to offensively dominate. Within less than two minutes, Carter sank two three-pointers and went 5-5 at the free throw line. DeSoto suffered offensively missing multiple shots down low and off the glass. Rockets ended the quarter with a substantial, 21-15 lead.

In the second quarter, early turnovers hurt both teams to start the quarter offensively. Senior Elena Blanding mixed up the usual starting five, adding size to the team. Shortly thereafter, Carter snagged an and-one foul call and hit another three-pointer, pushing the lead, 26-17. DeSoto began to adjust and found scoring from within the paint. Baskets began to be traded between the Rockets and DeSoto with DeSoto closing in on the gap. Sophomore Kierra Sanderlin stepped up offensively to end the quarter with missed free throws plaguing the DeSoto offensive. The half ended with Rockets leading by four points 31-27.

In the third quarter, DeSoto came back from the locker room with a clear defensive plan: shutdown Carter and focus on rebounding. Sanderlin continued to work on offense as White and Carter neared the brunt of defensive pressure. DeSoto’s length finally paid off as DeSoto’s Bria Patterson went 2-2 from the line following the back-to-back blocks and layups, giving DeSoto the 38-35 lead. With four fouls, Carter was forced to sit out in the last seconds of the quarter. However, coming up in big moments, junior Teanna Huggins sank a last-second shot with the Rockets now trailing by one point, 37-38.

In the fourth quarter, only eight minutes separated the Lady Rockets from making history. While the quarter was low scoring, the biggest shots of the team’s season were made during the final quarter. Sanderlin struck first hitting a quick shot. White followed with a huge three-pointer essentially swinging momentum back into the Rockets favor. DeSoto stuck around converting from the free throw line stealing the lead from the Rockets 44-43. These would be the last substantial points for DeSoto as Carter took over the game with a layup following a floater, essentially icing the game for the Rockets. Senior Tiffany McGarity clinched the win even further after being fouled and going 2-2 at the line.

The Lady Rockets won the first ever Judson Basketball title and girls basketball title in the city’s history with a 49-46 win against DeSoto.

The journey for the Lady Rockets has been long and hard for the team, as a majority of the team experiencing the lost against Plano at the finals last year. Adversity is said to define an individual and it appeared to truly define the team with the Lady Rockets playing with a determination and focus, that was felt from the first game of the season to the last.

“Us losing last year kept us starving. We knew that we had many doubters but we didn’t let that affect the chemistry we had together on and off the court,” Carter said. “We stayed positive and held on to our faith all year. Big shout out to our supporters from the city of Converse for riding with us until the end. All of this kept us going all year and helped us stay focused on the ultimate goal.”

Not only have the Lady Rockets cemented a legacy on campus and within the city, but they have provided the school the foundation of a dynasty that can be built upon for years to come.

“I feel humbled to be able to be in this position and show the youth that anything can be possible if you work hard for it. From waking up two hours before practice to shoot around at the gym to going straight to training right after school and getting out late. This is something I will always remember and I hope I can pass it on to the future lady rockets,” White said.

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