Lady Blues Senior Night has championship ring to it
When the Lady Blues opened the 2019-2020 season on Nov. 12 with an 80-67 loss, the district championship was not a goal. It was not a goal when the district play began on Jan. 10 in Burkburnett. The goal was always the playoffs. It was to win in the area round.
The Lady Blues tipped off on Senior Night in a tie for first place with their opponents, Wichita Falls Hirschi. Step one of their goal was already complete. They had made the playoffs. However, there is one thing that could make Senior Night sweeter, a district championship.
“We got to that second game in the playoffs last year,” said coach Ky Graham. “We aren’t looking past bi-district, but our goal was to win that second game in the playoffs. We haven’t done that in a long time.”
That all changed on Tuesday, Feb. 11. A night that will be remembered for years to come. The night the Lady Blues defeated Lady Huskies 51-40 to win the school’s first girls basketball district championship since 2004.
The Lady Blues had not won a district championship in a long time. It had been 16 years. The three seniors, Cammi Teplicek, Claire Jones and Chloe Menard, were toddlers. The team’s younger player, Maddie Mandela, was not yet born.
“That’s crazy to even think about,” said Menard. “I was like two or three years old.”
Coach Graham created a brutal pre-district schedule for his Lady Blues. The Haskell team the Lady Blues (who played without Hannah Isom, Leah Holland and Menard as they were still playing volleyball) played are currently 28-3 and ranked seventh in Class 2A. He was not sure how his team would respond.
“We played a tough schedule, and I did that on purpose,” said Graham. “We played some ranked teams, and it was rough. I did not know how they would respond.”
They defeated Ponder, currently ranked 10th in Class 3A. They defeated Class 2A, 12th ranked Collinsville by 20 points. Coach Graham knew he had a special team.
“These girls have not backed down all season,” he said. “They play together. They play for each other. The chemistry these girls have is special. This team is special.
For the full story, see the Saturday, Feb. 15 edition of The Graham Leader.