Written by Matt Wixon
Lincoln girls oust Frisco Liberty, 56-43, to earn 12th state tournament trip
GARLAND — Lincoln’s long state tournament drought is over.
Actually, it was only two years ago when the Lady Tigers were last in Austin playing for a state championship. But for a program that will be making its 12th trip to state, even one year away seems like forever.
“I’m so proud of these girls,” Lincoln coach Carlesa Dixon said after her team beat Frisco Liberty, 56-43, on Saturday in the Class 4A Region II championship game at the Curtis Culwell Center. “They have worked so hard for this and they deserve this.”
Lincoln (35-4), which is No. 2 in the state 4A rankings, jumped to an early lead with the help of its pressure defense and transition baskets. Senior guard Jade Colbert scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half as Lincoln kept Liberty (35-6) from getting close.
Liberty, which had the best season in the school’s short history, was led by Beatrice Attura’s 14 points. Liberty trailed 14-3 midway through the first quarter before battling back to cut Lincoln’s lead to 18-12 on a basket by Attura with 6:20 left in the half. But Liberty struggled through a cold-shooting stretch that put it in a hole too steep to climb.
Liberty made only one field goal over nine minutes spanning the second and third quarters. Lincoln, whose defense had much to do with Liberty’s scoring trouble, used a 14-2 run that gave the Lady Tigers a 32-14 lead with 5:45 left in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Andrea Mapua ignited a 13-2 run for Liberty that cut the lead to 34-27 late in the third quarter. And though Liberty handled Lincoln’s pressure defense better in the second half, it couldn’t get any closer.
Lincoln will be trying to win its fourth state title. Dixon, who is in her first year as Lincoln’s coach, was one of the stars of the Lady Tigers’ first state champion in 1999.
“I want these girls to experience what I got to experience,” Dixon said. “I want them to win it.”
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