The Argyle Lady Eagles took home second place in the girls basketball 3A state championship game at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX on Saturday, falling to undefeated Waco La Vega by a score of 47-42.
“I walked down the line and told them what a great job they did and how hard they fought,” Argyle head coach Skip Townsend said. “We didn’t play as good of a game as we could have, but we fought real hard, and I couldn’t ask them to fight any better than they did. And I told them, ‘Let’s see if we can’t get back here next year.’ So that’s going to be another goal for us.”
In the opening, it appeared the Lady Eagles were feeling some nerves. La Vega put up the game’s first four points. Then Delaney Sain, with crucial support from Jesse Sheridan and Madison Ralston, tied the game at 4 points. Vivian Gray made her first score and maintained a constant threat to the Pirates, accompanied by another two scores by Sain, one of which she skillfully sidestepped a La Vega player to shoot. The girls ended the first quarter with a 12-6 lead.
La Vega’s Calveion Landrum was merciless in the second quarter against the Eagles, and with help from DeGrate surpassed Argyle 18-16. Sheridan spanned the gap with two free throws, and an intense period followed with multiple turnovers by both teams in their effort to gain a new lead.
La Vega’s Landrum kept up a constant barrage of scores against the Lady Eagles, with multiple consecutive goals and three successful three-point shots. Olivia Gray’s three-pointer in the last minute of the half put the girls just ahead at 25-24 to conclude the half.
The second half began with a fiery energy, yet much of the third quarter pitted the two teams in a slowly broiling stalemate. The teams both took time on the court to strategize before each drive. Despite some great maneuvers by Ralston and Sain and scores by Vivian Gray and Sheridan, the Lady Pirates took the lead with Landrum’s repeated scores.
In the fourth quarter, the gap slowly widened. Knowing the end to be near, the crowd cheered on their girls with desperate enthusiasm. Sain and Vivian Gray contributed more points, but so did the La Vega players. Superb defense and a three-pointer by Sheridan tightened the difference to just two points. The Eagles went into the final two minutes trailing 40-38. Another two scores by La Vega, followed by one by Sain put the score at 44-40 with thirty seconds left.
In the end, the Lady Eagles lost 47-42, but a frenzied spirit and the memory of a season’s worth of both tribulation and jubilation also lingers with the team and their fans, the echo of which promises to carry the girls to state again next season. A team with so many young, talented players, already having achieved so much, stands to win many more victories for their school. Until that time, the girls can be proud of making state.
“It is rough making it here and being so close to being a state champion,” senior captain Bailey Eschle said, “but I’m trying to look on the bright side. I couldn’t have asked for a better year with the girls on our team. We fought so hard together, and we were so close. We were a family.”