— By GREG WEBB
STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University has yet to hang a Brock pennant anywhere in Wisdom Gym, but the TSU staff is certainly familiar enough with the blue and gold-clad Lady Eagles, who have made the annual trip to Stephenville for nearly a decade.
“The Drum” in Austin will also see Brock’s girls again this year, as the Lady Eagles earned another reservation to the University Interscholastic League State Basketball Tournament with a 39-33 win over previously-unbeaten Sunnyvale on Saturday.
In the Class 2A Region II final, Sunnyvale was unimpressed with Brock’s “ownership” of the facility, bringing its 34-0 record to bear against the Lady Eagles in a hard-fought contest.
A Rachel Williams steal with barely a minute left in the game followed by a Bailey Ivey layup gave Brock the advantage it had been working for the entire game. The Lady Eagles’ defense stiffened in the final minute as Sunnyvale tried to come back, as they had several times during the game, but to no avail.
Ivey’s three at the mid-point of the final period gave Brock a lead at 27-24. Less than a minute later, Ivey made the first of two free throws, and was picked by Lexie Ducat’s putback when the second missed its mark.
But Sunnyvale stayed close with a 3-point shot on their next possession and pulled to within a point at the two-minute mark.
Ducat struck again with a feed inside, prompting a timeout from the Sunnyvale bench.
But momentum remained with Brock, who were proficient at both ends of the court in the waning seconds.
The finale was a far cry from the first period. Defense and a few missed layups were dominant in the opening quarter, with an unlikely conclusion of a 4-0 lead by Sunnyvale going into the second.