Argyle's girls basketball program needs no introduction because it entered Saturday's UIL 4A state title game as the five-time defending state champ. But, its attempt at six-in-a-row and seventh crown since 2006 was denied in Fairfield's 40-39 come-from-behind overtime victory at San Antonio's Alamodome.
Fairfield fell behind 16-3 by the end of the first quarter and trailed 25-11 at halftime. But, it turned on the gas in the second half. It forced overtime with a 23-9 point differential edge in the final two quarters of regulation and followed that with a 6-5 overtime victory.
Leading the charge was McKinna Brackens' 15 points and 10 rebounds, but don't overlook Jada Clark's six-point outing. The latter stepped up big with a late steal, layup and free throw to put her Eagles' program up three with six seconds left in overtime.
"Our team is tough, and Jada is the one that we go with," said Fairfield coach Sally Whitaker. "She's the example of the toughness. She plays more minutes than anybody, she never gets tired, she never comes out [and] she guards the best player. She's why we're tough, so I hope she looks back on that moment where she hit the game winner as a special moment and I will always remember."
Another key factor in the comeback was Fairfield's loyal crowd. It's been behind this team all season and brought louder-than-ever noise on its 239-mile trip from Freestone County.
"I don't think there's anybody left in Fairfield," said Whitaker. "You go to the River Walk and every two steps, there's somebody else from Fairfield. The support they've given these girls, it's not just the parents. It's ex-players, it's old men, it's random people that want to see them play."
On the other side, Argyle got a monster performance from future SMU player Rhyle McKinney, who finished with a game-high 25 points. She had a chance to tie the game with a trio of free throws late, but she only made the first two.
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The 2018-2019 athletic calendar has concluded, so VYPE Austin and VYPE San Antonio have had series dedicated to notable performers and moments over the past year. Check out the top 10 area UIL games that editor Thomas Bingham covered during the school year, as well as a notable TAPPS/SPC battle. All were entertaining, and we're looking forward to covering more sports action in 2019-2020.
No. 1: Late surge ends Cuero football's state title drought (December 21, 2018)
The Gobblers trailed 21-20 after three quarters of the UIL 4A Division II state title game, but leaned on Texas signee Jordan Whittington's record-breaking performance (377 yards and six touchdowns) and a 20-7 fourth quarter surge in a 40-28 win against Texarkana Pleasant Grove to claim their first state title in 31 years.