For the second year in a row, and the third time in five years, the girls’ basketball team is playing in the Texas UIL 5A State Championship tournament with the Redhawks taking on College Station (32-7) at 7 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
“This group is not super impressive statistically, and so the outlook is really just to continue to go compete and play hard,” head coach Ross Reedy said. “We’ve been in this situation all year with maybe a couple of exceptions that we’ve been in every single game we’ve played. We’re going to have a game plan that is going to put us in a position to have some success. For us, it’s “take care of what’s in front of you and let’s make Saturday important”, and the way to make Saturday important is to win on Thursday. So, we’re going to go down there and enjoy the experience, but we’re also going to know that we have business to take care of. We’re going to be ready to play and excited about playing.”
Getting back to the state tournament for the second time in a row, this year’s team is inexperienced compared to last year’s squad.
“It’s different in our players just because last year we had nine seniors, so we graduated a lot of people, but this year we’re a younger team,” junior Maya Jain said. “So, it’s more fun because we have like a closer relationship because we’re all closer in age and so we get to really enjoy the moments together.”
Like most of her teammates, freshman Jezelle Moreno is making her first appearance at state.
“I think [Thursday’s game] is going to be the first round of the fight between two champions,” Moreno said. “We don’t expect to be perfect in every aspect but we do look to execute certain things and we’ve been dealing with pressure in all aspects from the beginning of the season. So we really want to come out with the win and head onto the state finals especially after all of our hard work this season.”
If the Redhawks win Thursday night, they will play for the state championship Saturday at 3:00 p.m.
For Kyla Crawford, the lone senior on the team, the trip to state wouldn’t be possible without the Redhawks coaching staff.
“Our coaches are not only our biggest colleagues but also our biggest supporters,” senior Kyla Crawford said. “They definitely have been on our cases to work hard which is understandable but they have been extremely helpful to make sure we eat right and stay healthy. We just want to show College Station that we are there to fight.”