Update for March 5, 2015

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Appropriately wearing the #1, senior Crysta Salazar takes her turn with the scissors to cut down the net at Austin’s Burger Center, symbolic of the D’Hanis Cowgirls’ region championship.




Shelby Gayre floats a shot for a first half bucket in the Cowgirls’ 39-35 regional semifinal win over Jonesboro on Friday night. They outlasted Coolidge on Saturday, 48-46, to earn a trip to state.


D’Hanis earns spot in 1A girls’ state tourney...  Austin -- They didn’t need a buzzer-beating layup the way they did in their regional quarterfinal matchup last Tuesday, but the D’Hanis Cowgirls seem to have mastered the art of winning the close one.

The Cowgirls pulled off a four-point win over Jonesboro on Friday night, Feb. 27, then followed that with a two-point win over Coolidge on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 28, in the Austin ISD’s Burger Center, to win the Region IV-1A championship, and earn a trip to the University Interscholastic League’s State Basketball Tournament.

D’Hanis, 27-6 on the season, will face defending state champion Nazareth (32-2) in the state semifinals Thursday, March 5, at 10:00 in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

In the first 1A state semifinal, Lipan will take on Garden City at 8:30 a.m.

The Cowgirls earned a 39-35 win over Jonesboro in the regional semifinals Friday night, and did it by hitting some long-range bombs to open the second half.

D’Hanis trailed the Eagles, 18-14 at the half, but the first four scores of the third period were all Cowgirl three-pointers. Mallory McCollum and Crysta Salazar, who had both been shut out in the first half, hit two treys each to give the Cowgirls a 26-18 lead.

Jonesboro still had a little firepower left as well, scoring the next eight points to tie the game, which then went to the fourth quarter knotted at 29.

The lead changed hands a couple of times in the final period before the D’Hanis defense shut down Jonesboro and finished off the win.

Salazar was the only Cowgirl to finish in double figures, with 11 points. McCollum, Shelby Gayre and Sarah Craft totaled nine, eight and seven points.

In the earlier regional semifinal on Friday, Coolidge had defeated Leggett, 63-39.

Saturday at noon, the Cowgirls held on late to claim a 48-46 win in the regional finals. D’Hanis jumped on Coolidge for a quick 10-point lead, 18-8, at the end of a quarter. They extended that to 33-22 by halftime. The Cowgirls went extremely cold in the third period, but the Lady Jackets didn’t take full advantage of their opportunity. While D’Hanis scored only three points, Coolidge managed only eight, to cut the margin down to six points after three.

Twice in the late stages of the game, Coolidge cut the Cowgirls’ lead down to a single point, but on both occasions, D’Hanis kept the lead and held on to win by two.

Craft, who had the hot hand all game long, scored 18 points in the Cowgirls’ region-clinching victory, with 12 from McCollum, and eight from Salazar, all in the first period. Morgan Lynch scored six.

D’Hanis has made one other trip to the UIL State Tournament, in 1979, when the Cowgirls ran into eventual state champ Nazareth in the Class B semifinals at the University of Texas’ Special Events Center (later renamed the Frank Erwin Center). That was the first year that girls’ high school basketball in Texas featured the current 5-on-5 format.

Since their first state title in 1976, Nazareth has won 19 girls’ state championships, more than any other team -- boys or girls -- in Texas history.




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