When the Brock girls take the court Thursday inside San Antonio’s Alamodome, it will be the program’s seventh UIL state tournament appearance in the past eight years.
The Eagles have been the team to beat in Class 2A or 3A for the past 15 years, winning eight titles during that span.
“It’s nice seeing the hard work and effort from the girls,” said coach Chance Westmoreland, whose team is 33-4. “It’s all coming together at the right time.”
Trailing 12-0 in Saturday’s regional final to Grandview, the Eagles gradually rallied for a 41-30 victory.
“We were all a little rattled, but we kept it together and started playing much better,” senior Rachel Harrell said. “By halftime when we held them scoreless in the second, I knew that things were starting to happen in our favor.”
Little River Academy, Thursday’s state-semifinal opponent at 1:30 p.m., lost 59-37 to Brock on Nov. 20, but both teams are a lot different more than three months later.
“We played them early in the year and I think both teams have gotten better offensively and defensively,” Harrell said.
Last year was a rarity for Brock, losing in the third round to Sunnyvale, which snapped a streak of seven straight regional tournaments. It was just the fourth time since 1991 that the program didn’t make it past the third round.
“We didn’t finish the season the way we wanted to, therefore we had more drive to get better and make it back to state,” Harrell said. “The seniors came up with the motto ‘Make them believe’ and the whole team has worked hard.”
A tough nondistrict schedule has helped, too. Three of the Eagles’ four losses were against 6A teams Southlake Carroll (twice) and South Grand Prairie.
“I’ve always scheduled good competition to prepare for playoffs,” Westmoreland said. “We competed well and learned about what team they can become.”
Harrell, who’s committed to Sam Houston State, is the leading scorer with 17 points per game. Senior guard Trisha Jacobs averages 10 points and six assists and senior Allie Popeck chips in seven points, seven boards and seven blocks a game.
The Eagles allow 33 points per game while holding opponents to 28 percent shooting.
“This year’s team is about defense. The kids can score pretty well too, everyone can contribute,” Westmoreland said.
Brock, in its 21st state appearance, looks for its first title since winning five straight in Class 2A from 2009-13.
“It’s a great feeling and experience I’ll never forget,” Harrell said. “This is something this team has worked for since we lost last year.”
Thursday’s Class 3A semifinals
Brock (33-4) vs. Little River Academy (32-6), 1:30 p.m.
San Antonio Cole (37-3) vs. Wall (32-4), 3 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.