AUSTIN — For the better part of three quarters, Brock and Merkel seemed evenly matched.
The Eagles and Badgers were tied at 10 after the first quarter, at 16 by halftime, and at 27 with less than two minutes left in the third quarter.
But Brock pulled away down the stretch, going on an 11-0 second-half run to secure a 40-32 victory in the UIL Class 2A final Saturday at the Frank Erwin Center.
The Eagles (35-5) won their fifth consecutive state championship. Only Nazareth (1977-82) has won more consecutive titles (6).
“FIVE stands for From Inside Victories Emerge,” said sophomore guard Rachel Williams, who hit a key 3-pointer during that 11-0 run. “That’s kind of been our saying all year since we were going for our fifth consecutive state championship.”
Until the fourth quarter, neither team had led by more than four points. Brock held Merkel (38-2), making its first state-tournament appearance, scoreless for 7 1/2 minutes beginning late in the third quarter. The Badgers went 0 for 7 from the floor and committed five turnovers during that stretch.
“Brock just kept coming at us,” Merkel coach Clay Barnett said. “There were a couple times where a couple of our kids had to regain their composure and were getting frustrated. I think sometime in the late third, early fourth quarter we just kind of got frustrated and got our heads down, and they were able to take a lead on us.”
Brock senior forward Braylee Flaska was named the game’s MVP after scoring 11 of her team-high 16 points in the second half and shooting 7 for 11 from the floor. She was one of two Brock players to score in double figures. Sophomore post Lexie Ducat scored 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor.
“I’ll sleep pretty good this week,” Brock coach Chance Westmoreland said. “Toward the end of the school year, we’ll get the group ready and play a little bit this summer and when the school starts next year, we’ll start focusing on making it six in a row. But I’m going to definitely enjoy this one.”
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