Written by SportsDayDFW.com
With former Baylor guard Jordan Davis at the helm, Celina girls on verge of making history
AUSTIN — Celina is on the verge of making school history.
But to win their first state title in girls basketball, the Bobcats must beat a team that hopes to make history with consecutive championships. Abilene Wylie is making its third straight appearance in the state final.
That disparity wasn’t lost on Wylie coach Tri Danley after his team’s 65-52 semifinal win over Liberty Hill.
“When I watched Celina, they didn’t look like they were nervous at all,” he said, then added: “We’ve got 12 players; nine of them have made baskets on that floor. That’s big.”
Celina has won titles in five sports but none in girls basketball.
The Bobcats (34-3) are making their first appearance in the final. They lost in the semifinals in their other trips to Austin in 1967 and 1999.
Celina coach Jordan Davis, in her fourth season, is not far removed from playing on Baylor’s national championship team in 2005. So she knows big-game pressure.
“I’m excited,” said Davis, who played at Celina her senior year. “This is a first-time opportunity for me and a first-time opportunity for these girls. They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them. They deserve the opportunity to play for a state championship. We’ll get them ready and see if we can pull one off.”
The Bobcats controlled their nerves in their 45-32 semifinal victory over Lorena.
Kynzie Newman, a starter on Davis’ first team in 2008-09, scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Presley Stastny and Sarah Cantu scored 10 points apiece.
Although Celina may be considered the underdog, the Bobcats don’t think so.
“I think we have a very good chance,” Newman said. “We go harder every practice, and we’re looking forward to it. We’re pumped up. I think we can do it.”
Wylie never trailed against Liberty Hill, which had won 22 straight, although they were challenged until the end. Peyton Little led the Bulldogs with 25 points.
Wylie (35-5) lost to Liberty-Eylau two years ago in the Class 3A final and then beat Lucas Lovejoy last season. Little scored 43 in last season’s title game.
“We’ve always played our best in the state final,” Danley said. “It’s a lot about matchups. There is no dominating post player out there, which probably helps us.”