A state basketball title for the Mansfield Timberview girls and coach Kit Martin has been put on hold for a second straight year.
Amarillo made 10 of 20 field goals from 3-point range Saturday to deny the Wolves, 59-54, in the UIL Class 5A championship at the Alamodome. Canyon scuttled Timberview’s dream in last year’s championship.
“Great team, great coaches. The team next year will win,” said Timberview senior forward Lauryn Thompson. “Somebody’s going to come through here and win it.”
Timberview lost to Canyon last year, 47-45, and to Waco Midway in 2009. The Wolves won the 2010 championship. It's Timberview's fourth title-game appearance in as many trips to state.
“Luckliy for us we return four starting juniors and we’ll be able to have a team that’s going to be a lot like this next year,” Timberview coach Kit Martin said. “This has been a unique experience. To me it’s completely different from last season and really the last two seasons.”
Timberview (40-3) pressured Amarillo into early turnovers that led to a 9-2 advantage, but the Sandies (40-2) changed tactics and pulled even at 25-all by halftime.
“They’ve pressed all year long,” Martin said of Amarillo. “That press for them tonight lasted, I don’t know, three minutes, four minutes in the first quarter and they were out of it. I feel like that was one of the counters that they did that was effective for them.”
The other tactic that really worked was Amarillo’s ability to spread the long-range success around. Five players made 3-pointers, led by three apiece from Chloe Mayfield and Tatym Barnes.
“It definitely kept Amarillo in the game in the first half, and then it sealed the deal for them,” Martin said. “It seemed like in every crucial spot there was a three that went down. They did a tremendous job of hitting the open shot.”
Thompson, who has signed with Virginia Commonwealth, recorded nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Mikayla Hutchinson led the Wolves with 12 points. Amarillo’s Ashlyn Milton (17 points, seven rebounds, 2-for-3 on 3-pointers), was named championship game MVP.
“Just came up short once again,” Thompson said. “But I have faith in this program and we’re going to get one soon.”