Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Summit girls hold off Rockwall, 45-42, for 4A championship
MVP Hawkins leads Jaguars in surge against Yellowjackets
AUSTIN — Maya Hawkins of Mansfield Summit was unsure if her ankle would heal in time for the playoffs. Sidelined for four weeks, she could only watch as her teammates compensated for the loss of their leading scorer.
Hawkins returned the favor on Saturday. She scored a team-high 19 points to lead Summit to a 45-42 victory over Rockwall in the Class 4A state championship at the Erwin Center.
In a bruising final, Hawkins’ smooth jump shot made the difference. And the Jaguars (37-3) needed a big performance to offset Rockwall (34-8) forward Alyssa Lang’s 25 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Hawkins made eight of 13 from the field, including two of four 3-pointers. Her 4A tournament MVP performance also included five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“I finally got the chance I was waiting for,” Hawkins said. “But any of the other girls would have done the same. We all know our jobs. We know that when one goes down another has to step up.”
That was particularly true on Saturday. Each of the Jaguars’ three post players had three fouls by halftime as they tried to slow Lang.
The Yellowjackets, trailing 36-35 at halftime, tied it at 40 on Lang’s spinning layup with 2:02 left. Then posts Tierra Brown and Destiny Strange fouled out on consecutive possessions.
But the Jaguars held strong, outscoring Rockwall 5-0 before Kayla Smith’s layup at the buzzer.
“We just kept fighting,” Lang said. “There’s no doubt we left everything on the court.”
Summit’s attack was more diverse. Nine Jaguars played compared with six for Rockwall. Ashley Eli had seven points, three rebounds and three steals, and Shayna Jackson added seven points.
The Yellowjackets could have weathered that storm, but they couldn’t overcome their 52.2 percent free throw shooting. They made only 12 of 23, including Lang’s 7-of-13 mark.
“We haven’t shot that well from the line all year,” Rockwall coach Jill McDill said. “But this is one of the best defensive teams I’ve had. They love to fight.”
In their third state tournament appearance, the Jaguars celebrated their second state title three years after their first.
Summit’s playoff run started with convincing wins over Waco Midway and Fort Worth Trimble Tech, followed by a 42-37 victory over Arlington Seguin, a 57-55 four-overtime win over defending champion Canyon, a 53-39 victory against Clint Horizon and then a 40-37 win over Barbers Hill on Thursday.
“To get these kids to buy into playing 94 feet like we do really says a lot about this team,” Summit coach Tammy Lusinger said. “We commit to that year round.”