Argyle’s five-peat with a young core ready to go for six
Argyle head coach Chance Westmoreland said his team doesn’t talk about championship streaks, he learned his lesson at Brock some years back that that could add a lot of unwanted pressure.
So when the buzzer sounded after Argyle’s 49-41 win over Hardin-Jefferson, for the first time all year, the Eagles could embrace the moment of what they had accomplished—a five-peat. Argyle is just the third program in the state to achieve such a feat the other two being Nazareth from 1977 to 1982 won six and Brock from 2009 to 2013, which Westmoreland oversaw as an assistant and later a head coach. Argyle dominated the boards out-rebounding an athletic Hardin-Jefferson team, 40-26 and 15-6 on the offensive boards.
“I really just think as a coach I learned to make it about that season,” Westmoreland said. “We make it about that season and try to peak at the right time and play our best basketball at the right time. If we do that, we can play with anyone out there.”
To claim its fifth straight, Argyle went through a murderer's row of top-ranked Canyon, No. 2 Levelland, No. 3 Hardin-Jefferson and No. 4 Dallas Lincoln in the playoffs.
“We dropped to 18th one time in the rankings and people just didn’t think we were any good,” Westmoreland said.
It’s even a little scary that Argyle only graduates two in Kennedy Reaves and Maggie Adams with the bulk of its production coming back, including leading scorer and game MVP Rhyle McKinney, for yet another title run and challenge Nazareth’s state record of six consecutive titles. McKinney finished with 25 points and went 12-for-15 from the free throw line.
“This one is probably one of my favorites,” McKinney said about her third state championship. “This team this year is super close, our chemistry is amazing and this coaching staff, they’ve worked so hard for us this year. We just really wanted it because everyone doubted us this year.”
Judson wins first girls title for Greater San Antonio
Judson head coach Triva Corrales wore her emotions on her sleeve Saturday night when her Rockets beat DeSoto to claim the 6A UIL state championship, 49-46.
After all, it wasn’t just the weight of a career’s worth of preparation that was lifted off her shoulders, but the weight of an entire city. Judson became the first Greater San Antonio area school to lift a girls state title.
After coming up short two seasons in a row, Corrales had her team promise that they would finish the fight this time around.
“At the beginning of the playoff run, they had to sign contracts that they had so many 'working days' left, and we had a countdown that we’re not going to be done and they owned up to their contracts,” Corrales said. “We’ve been faced, we’ve been battle-tested, out-manned, out-sized, but there’s never been anyone that’s had more heart, desire or persistence than us.”
After making it to the state tournament in 2017 and finishing as a runner-up last season, the task was finally done after senior Corina Carter’s four points in the closing two minutes put the Rockets up for good. Carter finished with a game-high 20 points and was named the team’s MVP. 16 of those points came from the second period and she was held scoreless until the final sequence by an aggressive face-guard defensive strategy implemented by DeSoto and head coach Andrea Robinson.
“They bust their butt every day for me, they don’t have any days off and I’m proud of them and I’m tired,” Corrales said.