Tirzah Moore won the opening tipoff and got the ball immediately to her sister Trinity. Trinity scored with 7:55 on the clock to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead. A lead they would never relinquish.
That doesn’t mean it was easy.
The #2 Jones Longhorns topped the #3 Lincoln Christian Bulldogs 76-68 to advanced to the 3A State Title game. The Horns will matchup with the #1 Roland Lady Rangers Saturday Night at 8:00 at the Jim Norick Area in the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.
The Lincoln Christian guards were clearly bothered by the Longhorn full court press to begin the game. The size of the Longhorns also proved to be a hindrance to the Bulldogs in the first quarter, as Lincoln Christian was forced outside the arc for most of their first quarter shots. However, those outside shots kept Christian in the game for most of the first half, with 5 of their first 6 baskets coming from downtown to start the game. On the offensive side of the ball, a steady dose of the Moore sisters provided most of the points for the first quarter for Jones.
Fouls became an issue for the Longhorns in the first half, as Tirzah Moore and Boston Berry each had two fouls in the first and Trinity Moore had three, which forced Coach Holbrook to let Trinity spend the last 2:34 of the first half on the bench. Lincoln Christian found their stride offensively midway through the second quarter. After forcing a few Longhorn turnovers, the Bulldogs went on a 10-4 run over the last two minutes of the half and were able to close a double-digit deficit to 4 points.
The third quarter saw the Jones lead shrink to one point on three different occasions. The Bulldogs had multiple chances to take the lead, but could never quite get the shots to fall. The Longhorns then closed the third quarter with a 15-3 run over the last 3:47. As time expired in the third quarter, the run was capped off by a long-distance shot by Sophomore Audrey Bain that cleared the bench as the Longhorns surrounded their teammate in celebration. That double-digit lead at the half would prove to be a steep hill for the Bulldogs to climb.
The Horns kept the Bulldogs at bay throughout the 4th quarter, partially due to the masterful free throw shooting from Boston Berry, who finished 11/12 on the evening from the charity stripe. They continued to hold their position with the signature Longhorn defense, which showed a few new looks on the night.
Tirzah Moore lead the way for the Longhorns with 31 points on 13/17 shooting. Trinity Moore and Boston Berry each finished with 17. The Longhorns were 27/38 from the field and 20/25 from the free throw line.
Head Coach Jenni Holbrook was excited after the win, “I just feel blessed to have the opportunity for us to play in the Big House tomorrow with a chance to get a gold ball.”
“I’m so proud of these girls.”
The Longhorns get a chance at the Gold Ball tomorrow night at 8:00 pm.