When the Idabel Lady Warriors jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the State Title game, the droves of Jones fans in Green and White looked nervous. But Jones Head Coach Jenni Holbrook looked as calm as ever.
“Hold tight. It’s got to be done on defense.”
The Longhorns delivered.
The Longhorns went on a 21-0 run that was fueled by defense and led by Guards Boston Berry and Zoe Tucker.
“Once we get on a roll, we start giving each other our own energy” Tucker said after the game.
Tucker and Jalen Maples frustrated the Warrior guards all evening. When the Transition offense started clicking, it became difficult for Idabel to keep up.
“They look tired. We aren’t tired, let’s keep pushing it” Coach Holbrook told her team. The Longhorns continued to stretch the lead during the game, building it up to as many as 26 points late in the third quarter.
Sofi Woodson, the Sophomore Forward that was so instrumental in the Quarterfinal and Semifinal Matchup had the tough assignment of guarding 6’6 Center Mary Carden. Carden scored 8 of the Idabel’s 12 points in the 1st Quarter and looked to have a huge game. Carden would only score 5 points in the last three quarters. Woodson would finish with 6 points.
Kasia Hansen and Maples would provide an extra spark of offense in the second half, both players finishing with nine points. Berry and Tucker would each notch 19 points.
Audrey Bain and Karma Lewis would add some free throws as well. The Longhorns shot well from the line overall, shooting 78%.
The back-to-back championship is a first for Jones High School.
Looking back at the field, this Longhorn team was the youngest in the State Tournament Field. Even comparing the State Tournament opponents, Keys started three seniors, Perry started two and Idabel started three. The Longhorns start four juniors and a sophomore.
With a senior laden team in 2023, the Longhorns will be heavy favorite to three-peat.