Granbury's Leta Andrews gets historic win No. 1,334

GRANBURY -- As the final minute of Granbury's home game against Midlothian ticked away Tuesday, the Pirates' home crowd rose, cheering loudly.

The fans were yelling for more than a 62-43 Granbury win. They chanted coach Leta Andrews' name as she picked up her 1,334th career victory.

With the victory, Andrews, who already has the record for the most high school girls coaching wins in the nation, passed Fort Worth Dunbar legend Robert Hughes' mark for the most boys wins.

"It has been a wonderful ride," Andrews told the packed home crowd after the game ended.

When the final seconds disappeared, Andrews' players lifted her in celebration and carried her to midcourt. As Andrews received flowers and praise, the Pirates used giant strips of red tape to cross off the final win on a countdown banner on the wall.

Then Andrews -- with tears rolling down her face -- hugged her husband, David, and the rest of her family. The party continued as Andrews invited more than 20 of her former players to join her on the court.

"I can never say enough thank yous," she said. "I have the best job of anybody in the world."

After Andrews picked up win No. 1,333 Thursday, she said she had reached the mountaintop. In reality, she is going higher.

"My love, my passion for the sport is immeasurable," said Andrews, who is already a member of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sophomore post player Lilley VanderZee scored 19 points in the first half to help give Granbury a dominant 38-20 lead at halftime. Senior Ashlee Parish banked in a short jumper to start the third quarter to push the lead to 20 points.

"In the post, we were able to take advantage and go up strong tonight," Parish said. "I'm honored to be a part of this team and a part of this win."

Granbury (6-8) cruised in the second half to beat Midlothian (3-10) easily.

The Pirates missed three chances to get the historic win in the Cowtown Classic -- the last a heartbreaker in the final seconds Saturday. So instead of Andrews passing Hughes at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center -- on a court named for Hughes -- she did it on top of Granbury's hardwood floor that bears her name.

"Being a Lady Pirate myself, I appreciate the town and the people," said Andrews, who played for Granbury and has coached the Pirates for a combined 23 years. "I'm happy it happened here."

Andrews said she hasn't once thought of retiring. Instead, she is focusing on Granbury's first district game next Tuesday against Burleson.

"I don't think about it because I'm doing what I want to do," she said.

For now, she's still climbing.

Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760