Thursday, April 25, 2024

Indians two wins away from repeat title

Lipan Indians are headed back to the Class 2A State Tournamen

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The Lipan Indians are headed back to the Class 2A State Tournament and are two victories away from winning back-to-back championships after defeating Muenster 47-32 in the Class 2A Region II final Saturday, March 2 in McKinney.

Lipan (34-4) was led in scoring by Court Gaylor with 21 points, while Alberto Andreatta added a dozen and Darius Steed scored 9.

The Indians built a 21-8 halftime lead, and while Muenster (27-7) did pull to within single digits in the second half, the deficit was just too much to overcome. 

Lipan dominated the inside game with 15 2-point baskets compared to eight for Muenster. The Indians were also 11-of-16 at the free throw line and the Hornets were 4-of-10.

In the semifinals, Lipan escaped upset-minded North Hopkins, 45-42 in a game that was as tight as the score indicates. The game was tied at 7 after the first quarter and Lipan led 14-12 at the half. The Panthers (29-8) were within a single point, 25-24, as the final stanza began.

Gaylor led the Indians with 17 points and was 8-of-8 at the free throw line, along with making three 2-pointers. Steed added 8 points.

Lipan again had an advantage at the foul line, going 11-of-18 to the Panthers' 5-of-7. The Indians also hit six treys to five for North Hopkins.

This will be Lipan's 15 trip to the state tournament and their fourth straight. Since 2017, the Indians have reached state six times and have won three championships (2017, 2018, 2023)  with a runner-up finish (2022).

Lipan's other state championships were in 1994 and 2005 with runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2006. They also reached state in 1953, 1959, 1998, 2004, 2009 and 2021.

There was no state tournament in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.