Turner Propels Rockwall Over Victoria East 48-35
AUSTIN (AP) - Rockwall made sure the first trip in a generation by a Victoria school to the girls’ state tournament was a short one.
Paige Turner scored 18 points as Rockwall beat Victoria East 48-35 Thursday night in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Rockwall (34-7), which won the Class 5A title in 2007, closed the game on a 13-3 run and made its last eight free throws to put it away.
Adelaide Wenzel scored 10 points for Victoria East (40-3), the first team from Victoria to reach the state tournament since 1989. Victoria East had pulled within 35-32 early in the fourth quarter on a Wenzel basket before Ellen Baker made a 3-pointer, her only basket of the game, to ignite Rockwall’s final burst.
Aylssa Lang grabbed 12 rebounds for Rockwall.
Victoria East fouled nine times in the first quarter, leading to a huge Rockwall advantage at the free-throw line. Rockwall went 19 of 28 from the line, while Victoria East was just 3 of 4. Victoria East also was just 2 of 11 on 3-pointers in a constant bid to catch up.
Both teams looked nervous early and combined to shoot 4 of 22 in the first quarter. Turner scored 10 points in the second quarter and took over the Rockwall offense. Victoria East had pulled within 18-17 before Rockwall closed the half with a 7-0 run to lead 25-17 at halftime.
Morghen Day pushed Rockwall’s lead to 10 with the first basket of the third before Victoria East again rallied behind a 3-pointer from Shanice Hughes. But Victoria East could never find the basket to tie or pull ahead and never led in the game.
Baker’s basket was the killer. After Victoria East again pulled within three, Baker cut to the left side of the arc and swished a long 3-pointer that she followed with a leap and fist pump for the Rockwall crowd.
Rockwall could have run into trouble when Lang fouled out and took her nine points and 12 boards to the bench. Her absence left Rockwall with a gaping hole under the basket, but Victoria East missed its final eight shots.
Rockwall committed 20 turnovers but limited the damage by allowing Victoria East just 10 points.
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