With five seniors, South girls opponents might be lulled into believing their dominance might be in jeopardy next year.
But Friday night, the Titans offered evidence that they might be in the state title picture for years to come in a 56-26 rout of Garden City in a Class 6A sub-state final. South (22-0) will attempt to win its fourth consecutive state championship next week at Koch Arena.
Ten South players scored. Seniors Ericka Mattingly and Kendrian Elliott combined for 20 points, but there were other contributors.
Junior Kyla Callins helped South to a 16-2 lead after one quarter with three baskets. Freshman Brittanie Brickhouse (5-foot-10) muscled in three baskets in the second quarter, pushing the Titans’ halftime lead to 30-10. She finished with eight points, matching Elliott’s total.
Junior Destiny Pittman scored all of her six points in the second half, and sophomore Krissandra Pollard scored four in the third quarter.
The Titans led 50-15 by the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock.
South started out fast, forcing Garden City (7-15) into 12 first-half turnovers, converting many into points at the other end.
Coach Antwain Scales said the victory capped a good streak for his seniors – Elliott, Mattingly, Naria Hall, Alexis Beard and Deionne White.
“These seniors have never lost here in this gym in our tenure,” he said.
Mattingly, who will play next year at Texas-San Antonio, said the contributions from the underclassmen were good to see, and she hoped that was helped by her influence as a senior.
“I just try to be a positive role model, and just keep showing that you guys have to work hard for the next couple of years to come,” she said.
Garden City coach David Upton said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
“We knew coming in that this was going to be a pretty big mountain for us to climb,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of experience, and even though they graduated all the seniors from last year, all the experience from the previous three years, those younger kids know it, they feel it.
“They’re a tough team. We knew our hands were full when we came in here. Sometimes, when a team physically has a little bit more talent than you, it’s hard to overcome.”
GARDEN CITY – Peitz 3, Munoz 8, Dart 6, Flowers 3, Butler 2, Longoria 2, Calvillo 2.
SOUTH – Mattingly 12, Elliott 8, Pollard 4, Jobe 4, Scales 2, Afoa 3, Pittman 6, Callins 6, Hall 3, Brickhouse 8.