Mount Vernon Downs Winnsboro In Regional Championship Game
ROCKWALL -- Brad Floyd usually takes off a few days of work to catch the girls basketball state tournament games in Central Texas. This year, he'll do the deal in all-expenses-paid style.
Floyd's Mount Vernon team cruised to an easy 50-35 win Saturday against Winnsboro in the Class 3A Region II championship game and spent the rest of the day sorting out the logistics to make a trip to San Antonio possible.
It is at the Alamodome that the state's four regional champions will meet for the final two rounds of the 3A girls basketball playoffs. The Lady Tigers will play their state semifinal round game Thursday at 1:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. against a randomly selected opponent from a field of Buffalo, Canadian and Goliad.
The University Interscholastic League will announce the draw Sunday.
"What's neat is we're trying to get plans fixed for the state tournament and the boys team is playing in the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday," Floyd said while his team cut down the nets. "That's obviously going to affect when we leave and what we're doing, but San Antonio is going to be fun for these kids. I'm sure some of them have never been there before."
Mount Vernon (31-6) won for exactly one reason, which transcended the entire game. It had the better bigs.
The Lady Tigers, ranked sixth in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' final Class 3A poll, forced No. 14 Winnsboro (24-13) to reset its offense after failing to drive the lane and to settle for shots from distance.
Both teams scored 13 baskets during the game, but Mount Vernon had the much easier go at it with forward Alissa Hill scoring a second-best 12 points in the game and center MyShalia Stanton managing nine points. The Lady Raiders, by contrast, earned five baskets in layup fashion and the rest of their scores came from the edges of the lane or further.
Mount Vernon nearly won as many rebounds on Winnsboro's end of the floor as the Lady Raiders did. The final count was 14-11 in favor of Winnsboro.
With the Lady Tigers winning 44 percent of the boards near their attacking basket, the Lady Raiders worked their way to 22 fouls in the game and sent opposing players to the line on 16 different occasions.
Mount Vernon scored 16 of 20 second half points on free throws and committed eight less fouls through the 32-minute contest.
"We obviously have two really good low posts," Floyd said. "They're really interchangeable. That's nice to have. We shoot so well that you usually get one team spread out and we can get it inside to our big kids. That's always nice."
Junior guard Rylee Keys led Mount Vernon in scoring with 14 points. Abi Nichols guided Winnsboro with nine points.
Both teams needed a few minutes to get into rhythm after nail biters Friday in the regional semifinal round.
Winnsboro edged Alba-Golden in the 6 p.m. game and Mount Vernon escaped Pottsboro, 57-50, in overtime of the 8 p.m. meeting.
The Lady Tigers grabbed a permanent lead against Winnsboro at the 3:12 mark of the first quarter and owned a 30-18 edge at halftime.
The Lady Raiders were down by as many as 14 points in the second half, but they managed to get within 11 points before committing two late fouls and giving up four points on free throws.
"It didn't work exactly like we planned in the fourth quarter today, but it was a lot less stressful than last night," Floyd said. "Last night was fun. We were lucky to get out with that win. Pottsboro is a great basketball team. This whole tournament has been neat for our school, our community and these kids. Getting into the state tournament is a major accomplishment."
No. 6 Mount Vernon 50, No. 14 Winnsboro 35
Class 3A Region II Championship Game
At Rockwall-Heath High School, Rockwall
Mount Vernon 14 16 9 11 -- 50
Winnsboro 9 9 5 12 -- 35
Mount Vernon (31-6) -- Rylee Keys 14, Alissa Hill 12, MyShalia Stanton 9, Annie Coffey 7, Zaylin Lee 7, TyRaven Linwood 1.
Winnsboro (24-13) -- Abi Nichols 9, Taryn Davis 7, Darby Deaton 6, Daryn McKee 6, Kaci Goggans 4, Navy Briggs 3.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Mount Vernon: Coffey, Keys, Lee. Winnsboro: Briggs, Deaton, Nichols.