Sports > Schools
Title clincher: Lady Redhawks earn first-ever district championship
FRISCO – It was only a matter of time.
After falling one game short of a district title last season, the Liberty girls basketball team made school history Tuesday by clinching its first-ever district championship with a 46-29 defeat of Heritage.
"I can't even express my feelings," said Mari Mooneyham Harrison, Liberty head coach. "This is such a great group of girls.”
The Lady Redhawks made school history by using a dominant first quarter to open a double-digit lead. Senior guard Beatrice Attura single-handedly outscored the Lady Coyotes in the frame, pouring in six of her game-high 13 points.
"We've talked about going out and winning the beginning of quarters," Harrison said. "I wanted us to make [Heritage] take the first timeout tonight."
Heritage failed to make a basket from the field until the 5:55 mark of the second quarter when junior guard Montoria Tripp nailed a shot from beyond the arc. Tripp put in a team-high 11 points to become the only Lady Coyote in double figures.
"We always talk about how if you play defense like that, you can win any game," Harrison said.
Liberty widened its lead in the second quarter with big shots from sophomore guard Allie Elliott and junior forward Bria Frierson. Elliott sank a pair of 3-pointers before Frierson nailed a buzzer beater to give her team a 26-13 advantage heading into the locker room. Frierson finished with 12 points on the night while Elliott added nine after connecting on three shots from downtown.
The third quarter was much of the same, with Heritage managing just four points and the Lady Redhawks pushing their lead to 20 late in the frame.
"We held [Heritage] to single digits in every quarter until the fourth," Harrison said. "That's something we take pride in, and we've even had quarters where the other team didn't score at all this year."
The Lady Coyotes scored 12 points in the fourth with senior post Bridjai Chaney adding all seven of her points during that span. Chaney was the second-leading scorer for Heritage and junior guard Taylor Jackson finished with five more for the Lady Coyotes.
The 46-29 victory pushes Liberty's season mark to 29-5 and clinches sole possession of first place in the District 9-4A standings with only two games remaining. The Lady Redhawks will put their 12-0 mark on the line Friday with a 6:30 p.m. contest at Prosper.
"We definitely want to finish the season strong," Harrison said. "We've already talked to the girls about staying hungry. We want that momentum going into the playoffs."
Heritage fell into third place with the loss and Centennial's win over Frisco the same night. The Lady Coyotes will try to rebound Friday with a 6:30 p.m. home game against last-place Frisco.