High School: Lorena

AUSTIN, Texas -- Celina’s press was the crown jewel that could be worth its weight in gold.

Celina’s diamond-and-one full court and half court defense slowed Lorena enough to allow the Lady Cats to move past Lorena (29-9), 45-32, and into the 3A state final.

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“We usually start out with the press every game and adjust from there,” Celina coach Jordan Davis said. “If we can create some turnovers off of it, that’s great for us.”

The press created havoc for Lorena’s offense, accounting for many of Lorena’s 15 turnovers in the game. Celina was able to convert those mistakes into 12 points.

Celina (34-3) jumped out to a quick lead in the first, but hot shooting from Lorena’s Summer Dolezel pulled Lorena within 16-13 after one.

Defense took over for both teams in the second quarter, but Celina’s Kynzie Newman utilized her team’s five-wide, spread offense to find holes and penetrate to finish with 10 points in the first half.

Celina carried it’s momentum into the second half and went with more of a half court set on defense.

Newman finished with a game-high 18 points, including a three-point play in the fourth quarter that would be the nail in Lorena’s coffin. Newman powered in for a layup from the post and drew a foul. After the ball fell through the hoop, Newman let out her emotion with a yell and fist pump.

“I had a feeling it was over,” Newman said. “Walking to the free throw line I heard one of [the Lorena players] go, ‘It’s over.’ So I was like, ‘OK, we’ve got this.’”

Celina advances to the state final Saturday at 10 a.m. against Abilene Wylie, which defeated Liberty Hill 65-52 in its semifinal match.

“They deserve the opportunity to win a state championship," Davis said, "and we’re going to get them ready and see if we can pull one off.”
Check in throughout Thursday and Friday for updates on all of the girls state tournament action:

CLASS 1A DIVISION I

Sudan 64, Snook 42
  • Sudan advances to the state final with a 33-3 record.
  • Guard Jasmine Weaver and forward Bailee Black were the team high scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
  • Snook forward Aleah Bowers led the game in scoring with 14 points.
  • Sudan advances to play Martin's Mill in the state final at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Martin's Mill 71, Kerens 52
  • Martin's Mill advances to the state final with a 36-4 record on the season.
  • Guard Haily Jenkins led Martin's Mill with 27 points and was one of three teammates to score double-digit points.
  • Kerens forward Marqueshia Kelly scored a team-high 16 points.
  • Martin's Mill advances to play Sudan in the state final at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
CLASS 3A

Celina 45, Lorena 32

Abilene Wylie 65, Liberty Hill 52
  • Wylie star and A&M commit Peyton Little had an "off" game, but still led her team in scoring with 25 points. Last year Little scored 43 in a game -- the record for scoring in a girls state tournament game.
  • Taylor Russell put up 17 for Liberty Hill.
  • Wylie advances to its third straight state final in as many years and seeks its second state title against Celina at 10 a.m. Saturday.
CLASS 4A

Mansfield Summit 40, Barbers Hill 37

Rockwall 48, Victoria East 35

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