Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Frisco Heritage girls top Highland Park, 49-44, to earn first playoff win in school history
RICHARDSON — Frisco Heritage accomplished two milestones with a 49-44 girls basketball victory over Highland Park in a Class 4A bi-district playoff at Richardson.
It was a first playoff victory for the 4-year-old program, and the team avenged a first-round playoff loss to Highland Park last season.
“We lost this game by two points [last season],” Heritage coach Amy Justice said. “Those are hard losses but it’s a motivating factor. We had to play for every point and … getting a win over a program with a winning attitude like Highland Park is a huge win for our program.”
Heritage (22-10) advances to play the winner of today’s game between Carter and Hillcrest. Highland Park (24-8) is ousted in the first round after reaching the 4A regional semifinals last season.
Heritage needed to have junior guards Montoria Tripp and Taylor Jackson and senior post Bridjai Chaney hit nine of 10 free throw attempts in the final three minutes to hold off a Highland Park rally.
Heritage built an 18-6 lead early in the second quarter and led by as much as 24-9 as Highland Park went nearly seven minutes without a field goal in the first half. Despite shooting 3-of-23 from 3-point range, Highland Park pulled within 36-30 with 5:04 left as senior guard Kaitlyn Read hit a 3-pointer. Read, a four-year starter who has committed to play at New York University, was Highland Park’s only double-digit scorer with 18 points.
“We had some great defense, really busted it, but then we couldn’t come up with anything from it,” Highland Park coach Amy Matlock said. “We got frustrated on offense. We got a couple of charging fouls on our first two penetrations and then we couldn’t hit from the outside. We didn’t have enough patience on offense.”
Highland Park hit only two of its first 11 shots but pulled within 24-15 at halftime as Read scored the half’s final four points.
Heritage moved ahead, 30-15, early in the second half. Chaney scored on a set play, freshman Alicia Blackwell scored and Chaney added a short follow shot to build the 15-point lead.
Chaney, Heritage’s only senior starter, scored 22 points.
Tripp and Jackson helped counter Highland Park’s defense pressure with their ball-handling.
Tripp finished with 18 points and scored all of Heritage’s points in the final 2:07 with a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line.