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Irving MacArthur girls claim 5A state title

AUSTIN -- As if the Irving MacArthur girls Class 5A state championship win over Georgetown on Saturday isn’t enough to forever be branded into the memory of MacArthur head coach Suzanne Oelschlegel, she's in store for another reminder.

Oelschlegel reminded her players after the 74-51 win at the Frank Erwin Center of the wager she made with her players by pointing at her bicep. If the girls won the championship, she would get a tattoo of the team’s motto for the year, “We in dat thing.”

“We told the girls that they were going to watch us get a tattoo if we won the state championship, so I guess I have to get ready for that,” Oelschlegel said.

Leading the push for Oelschlegel’s future ink was Lady Cardinals star guard Alexis Jones. The game MVP finished the title bout with a triple-double -- 25 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.

Jones had missed a triple-double in the state semifinal game Friday by one rebound and one assist and added that she wasn’t happy with the performance. After she received the MVP award Saturday, no one on her team could deny the high level of her play or her ability to raise her teammates' ability to succeeed.

“She was our leader this year and everyone followed in her footsteps,” Oelschlegel said.

Jones began the game with the hot hand, having some part in the Lady Cardinals' first 10 points. Georgetown’s shot 50 percent from behind the arc to keep them in the game early, but MacArthur always seemed to have an answer, finishing with a 45 percent success rate.

“They just kept fighting back,” Oelschlegel said. “We always had an answer for when they scored. Our team played so solid tonight.”

Georgetown star post Krystal Forthan was held in check by the much smaller MacArthur defense. The 6-4 top 5 recruit finished with 14 points and was forced to the bench for the end of the first half after collecting a quick three fouls.

Even with Forthan in the game, MacArthur was able to score 15 points off the second chance and beat Georgetown in points in the paint, 40-18.

“Our No. 2 goal on offence was to take it to the hole,” Oelschlegel said. “Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. Don’t rely on jumpers and outside shots, take it to the hole and they did.”

The win achieved a year-long goal the MacArthur players set before them since they were abruptly bounced from the regional finals last year, but for the coach, the title fulfills a lifetime goal.

“This has been one of my heart’s desires and God gave me one of my hearts desires -- to take a team to the state tournament and win the state championship. I’m so grateful to this team and their teamwork.”