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At the home of the Alamo, girls’ basketball becomes unforgettable

Redhawks beat Mansfield Timberview 60-51, becoming state champions for the second year in a row
With+the+UIL+5A+state+championship+trophy+in+hand%2C+the+Redhawks+celebrated+their+second+straight+title+at+midcourt+of+the+Alamodome+on+Saturday.+
Addyson Schick
With the UIL 5A state championship trophy in hand, the Redhawks celebrated their second straight title at midcourt of the Alamodome on Saturday.

The odds were stacked against the Redhawks as they took on the state’s top ranked 5A team: Mansfield Timberview.

A team that was on a 37-game winning streak.

A team with just one loss.

A team that had already beaten the Redhawks earlier in the season by 21 points.

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When the buzzer sounded there wasn’t immediate joy or anything like that, in my head it was like, is this actually over,

— head coach Ross Reedy

A team that led by 12 points in the 3rd quarter.

But a team that hadn’t been there before.

And when the clock hit all zeros, it was the Redhawks on top with a 60-51 win.

“When the buzzer sounded there wasn’t immediate joy or anything like that, in my head it was like, is this actually over,” head coach Ross Reedy said.

Rolling through much of the playoffs, Saturday’s final was anything but easy.

“Probably the toughest of all the ones we played to this point and probably the toughest season,” Reedy said. “We had some early disappointments and to be able to go up against one of the better teams in the nation and to be able to play in that environment and at one point being down 12 points in the second half, I am really proud of our resilience and resolve and to be at our best in the biggest moments.”

It’s the second year in a row the team has won a state championship, something that hasn’t quite sunk in for some players.

Going back to back, honestly, it feels surreal. I just can’t even believe we actually did it,

— senior Judy Aluga

Going back to back, honestly, it feels surreal,” senior Judy Aluga said. “I just can’t even believe we actually did it.”

“It’s crazy to believe,” junior Kathryn Murphy said. “I feel like it, I’m still in shock.”

Timberview was the favorite heading into Saturday’s’ game, but the Redhawks win stamps the Redhawks as one of the best around.

“Liberty has always been one of the best teams in area,” sophomore Lilian Johnson said. “And just to go back-to-back and really put us on the map. It means we are one of the best teams around here which means a lot for the program and for the coaches, and coach Reedy, and all of us players, I think it means a lot.”

With three state championships in the last five years, the Redhawks have entered rarefied air that only teams like the Patriots and Chiefs can claim.

“I would definitely say it’s a dynasty, but it comes from the coaching,” senior Keyera Roseby said. “Our coaches confide in us and they push us, they never give up on us so it definitely comes to our coaching and our team, we never give up. We love each other. Whenever somebody is down, we pick them up, and I think that leads to W’s.”

Back to back is hard enough, but for sophomore Jacy Abii, a three-peat isn’t out of the question.

We just have to play for each other, put the work in, trust each other,

— sophomore Jacy Abii

“It’s going to take a lot of trust in each other.  It’s not like we can get an ego about anything,” Abii said. “We can’t play selfishly, we have to start the season out playing together, playing for each other instead of ourselves and we don’t slack back on defense, don’t take breaks on offense. We just have to play for each other, put the work in, trust each other and trust it’s going to work out because it’s not going to be perfect every season, but at the end of the day, if we put the work in, then at the end of the season you can walk out with another ring.”

This story was originally published on Wingspan on March 4, 2024.