Lady Eagles State Champions

by Scott Batts

  The Fairfield Lady Eagles led the state final for seven seconds, but it was enough to claim the 4A state championship over 5-time champion Argyle before a capacity crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

  Jada Clark had a steal from Argyle scorer and SMU signee Rhyle McKinney and rushed up the right side and hit the shot off glass and was fouled.  She hit the foul shot to lead for the first and only time on the night 40-37 with seven seconds remaining in overtime.  Argyle answered with a foul called on Clark with a shade over two seconds remaining and she was awarded three free throws and a chance to send the game into a second overtime.

  McKinney hit the first two free throws and put the score at 40-39, but the final free throw hit off the front of the rim, she collected the rebound and missed the final attempt for the win and the Lady Eagles in Freestone County swarmed the floor in victory.  Many argue that McKinney missed the third free throw intentionally to catch Fairfield off guard.

  The game occurred with a semifinal win over Dallas Lincoln 76-51, when the Lady Eagles dominated the Tigers attempts to run the floor.

  “We will take any win at any level, but when you get two in the state tournament over two teams with the resumes they had, you have to feel pretty special.  Their experience cannot be matched but our team matched the intensity and desire to win,” stated head coach Sally Whitaker after the title game.

  Argyle guards McKinney and Brooklyn Carl were named to the all-tournament team.  Braden Bossier and Jada Clark were also named to the team.  Freshman McKinna Brackens with 10 points in the semifinal and 15 in the final was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

State Semifinal

Lady Eagles cruise past Dallas Lincoln 76-51

  The Fairfield Lady Eagles put 20 points on the board in each of the final two periods to run past the Dallas Lincoln Tigers 76-51 on Friday in the 4A state semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

  Fairfield weathered every offense Dallas Lincoln attempted from running to the slow down and even the physical game by bouncing a couple of Lady Eagle guards.  The Lady Eagles continued to pull away on the biggest stage of the basketball world in Texas. 

  McKinna Brackens scored seven points in the first period.  Braden Bossier blocked an early shot by Heaven Hayden and Jada Clark scored off of a Bossier steal for the early 2-0 lead.  JaMya Maryland hit a three-pointer to give the Tigers the lead and that would their only lead of the day.  Bossier hit a pair from inside and then Belle Johnson hit a three forcing a Lincoln timeout.  Lincoln got to within 9-7 midway through the first period and McKinna Brackens hit a couple of free throws and Shadasia Brackens nailed a three pointer.  McKinna Brackens scored on a couple of possessions from short range and the Lady Eagles led 21-13.

  Breyunna Dowell hit a short jumper to extend the lead to ten and then Jada Clark continued to break away on Tiger missed shots and she scored for a 25-13 lead.  Clark scored four in the first and six in the second, mostly on release and shoot off the defensive transition.  She would have ten in the half and Bossier had eight and the Lady Eagles held a 36-27 lead.

  Hayden scored to lead the second half and close the Lady Eagle lead to 36-29.  Clark hit a short jumper on a couple of possessions, the second on a great pass from Dowell.  Jarahle Daniels hit a three pointer on an inside out pass from Bossier and Dowell led the way on a score during the next two possessions.  Clark, Dowell, and Bossier scored on the final three possession and Clark hit one of two from the free throw line and the Lady Eagles extended the lead to 56-38 after three.

  Bossier scored from the inside and the lead swelled to 58-38 and McKinna Brackens hit two free throws.  Bossier scored again and Dowell followed on the next possession with a pair of free throws.  Clark had another break away with just over a minute left for their largest lead of the game at 76-48. 

  Fairfield had a 44-22 advantage in points in the paint but committed 24 turnovers leading to 26 of the 51 Lady Tiger points.  Clark led all scorers with 23 points and three Lady Eagles had double doubles in the state semifinal.  McKinna Brackens had ten points and 12 rebounds, Braden Bossier scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Dowell had 15 points and 15 rebounds.

  The Lady Eagles hit 29-57 from the field for over 50% shooting on the day and made three of five of the three pointers each hit by Daniels, Johnson and Shadasia Brackens.  McKinna Brackens tossed in seven assists for good measure and the Fairfield Lady Eagles were heading to the state final against the five-time state champion Argyle Eagles winning 49-38 over Fredericksburg.