Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Lipan Lady Indians' quest for back-to-back state championships came to an end

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The Lipan Lady Indians' quest for back-to-back state championships came to an end Saturday, Feb. 24 with a 50-41 loss to Nocona in the Class 2A Region II final at McKinney North High School.

Lipan, which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the state, ended the season with a 34-4 record and saw its 21-game winning streak come to an end. Nocona, No. 9, improved to 34-3 and advanced to its first state tournament since 1953.

The Lady Indians found themselves in a 16-8 hole at the end of the first quarter and 34-21 at the half.

Ashlyn Clark led Lipan with 14 points, Finley Shockley scored 12 and Taylor Branson contributed 10.

The ultimate difference in the game was at the free-throw line. Nocona hit 14 of its 23 attempts and Lipan was 5-of-9. Nocona hit as many free throws as they did 2-pointers (6) and 3-pointers (8) combined, whereas Lipan hit six treys and nine 2s.

In the regional semifinals, the Lady Indians defeated Collinsville 60-37. Lipan built a 38-16 halftime lead and never looked back.

Hanna Gaylor led Lipan with 16 points, Olivia Benitez added 11 and Shockley scored 9.