Second Baptist School women’s hoops team ready for a run at TAPPS Final Four
It's a senior class that will be hard to replace.
Victoria Ryan, Alyssa Elias, Caroline Torn, Emily Blackmon and Kaitlyn Kollmorgen have accomplished something that had never been done before.
With a 45-32 victory over Lutheran South Academy on February 11, the Eagles wrapped up the program's third-straight district championship and sixth in program history.
"It's bitter and it's sweet," Second Baptist School coach John Herndon said about that accomplishment. "It's bitter because I will be losing five seniors that not only have played for me for two years but when I was at Rice University, I knew them as youngsters. They were all close friends and I knew them and their families. Now, they've spent their last two years of high school playing for me."
But winning the district title was just step one to the ultimate goal – a state championship.
"We're going to give it our best shot to see if we can finish it up with a run at the Final Four," Herndon said. "And give them memories they'll have for a lifetime."
The Eagles opened the playoffs earlier this week with a TAPPS 5A Area 67-43 victory over St. John Paul II.
With that win, Second Baptist School moves on to the Regional game, which is the step before the TAPPS Final Four in Waco next week.
Second Baptist School is set to face St. Joseph High School – Victoria on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Columbus High School.
"I told the girls and my coaching buddies that I'm nervous before games," Herndon said with a laugh. "What's nice to hear from my girls is they say, 'We're excited!'. Which calms me down. Going into that game, it's two good teams. They have a good post player; we have a good post player. They have good guards; we have good guards. It should be a fun game to watch."
Last year, Second Baptist School reached the TAPPS 5A State Semifinals, before falling short to San Antonio Christian.
The goal since then has been to get back. And win it all.
If Second Baptist School pulls off a victory on Saturday, the Eagles will be back in the TAPPS Final Four, which Herndon said will be exciting for them as an entire program.
"For the girls on the team it's exciting," he said. "For the freshman I've moved up, they get to see what it's like to be successful and define this culture. Finally, for my young families, they've come to watch us a lot, so they see themselves out on the floor when they see them play. It's the beginning of a program."