By BRAD KEITH
HUCKABAY (February 3, 2017) — Kailin Dowell was the best player on the court Friday and helped Huckabay prove it is indeed the best girls team in 18-A.
Huckabay captured an outright district championship by completing a season sweep of defending 1A state champ Lipan with a 44-32 win at The Teepee, where Dowell amassed 28 points.
Dowell was 12-13 from the foul stripe, but it was from the 3-point arc where she buried two fourth-quarter shots that put the game out of reach.
Presli Bray scored most of Huckabay’s remaining points with 12, and she missed the end of the second quarter and all of the third after aggravating a knee injury. She returned, heavily taped, and contributed again in the fourth quarter, adding her final four points to eight in the first half.
Emmy Rodgriguez and Brenna Yarbrough scored two each to round out the Huckabay scoring, while center Trinity Meador didn’t need to score to leave a lasting impact on the championship-clinching victory. Meador blocked three shots and secured a steal in the fourth quarter, allowing HHS to keep the ‘other’ Lady Indians at arm’s length.
Huckbay survived 18 points by talented Lipan center Maddie McGee.
McGee scored with a foul and added the free throw to pull Lipan within 18-15 at half, but the second half was dominated by the home team.
It was 22-19 before an old-fashioned 3-point play by Dowell and two free throws by Rodriguez. Twice Lipan cut it to six before two foul shots by Dowell made it 34-25 heading to the fourth.
McGee pulled Lipan within seven in the opening moments of the final period, but Huckabay scored the next five, including a Dowell 3 and a breakaway layup by Dowell to stretch it to 39-27. Huckabay was ahead by at least seven the rest of the way.
Lipan trimmed its deficit to 39-32 before Dowell put the game away with a left corner 3 with an assist from Ciara Philips with 2:04 to go. A driving layup by Bray completed the scoring with 1:05 to go, and Huckabay fans rose to their feet to applaud their district champs throughout the final 60 seconds.
Huckabay closes out its regular season on Tuesday with a trip to Lingleville. Tipoff is about 6:30.