By Sam Mykel, Contributing Writer
The Lady Eagles fell short of a victory against the Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks 49-42 on Friday in the state semifinal round of the playoffs.
Prior to the game, the Eagles were the #1 ranked basketball team in Division 4A with a 37-0 record while the Hawks were ranked #5 with a 33-4 record.
The Eagles had an eight point lead entering halftime but after a number of costly turnovers, the Hawks were able to rally back and take the lead during the third quarter.
“The third quarter’s been ours all year,” Hawks Head Coach Mike Fogo said. “We’ve been here and done that, we know to get settled in and follow the script.”
Held to only two points in the third quarter by the Hawks, the Lady Eagles made a late comeback attempt, however, fouls became an issue and hindered the team’s play.
“When we got into foul trouble, it really limited what we needed to do offensively,” Eagles Head Coach Chance Westmoreland said. “The fouls definitely hurt, but it’s a game of runs. We had ours and [they] had theirs.”
During the fourth quarter, the two teams played to a tie on two separate occasions with the Hawks ultimately running away with the lead and the game.
“We played great defense during that little swing,” Fogo said. “It was just go and hoop at that point and we were able to finish and execute.”
While the Hawks celebrate their win and prepare for the championship, the Eagles reflect on the loss and look forward to next year.
“We played our tails off and battled with them all game,” Westmoreland said. “It takes a lot to make it here to San Antonio and I truly believe we had something special here.”