By GREG WEBB
AUSTIN — Brock’s defense eventually wore down Merkel and the Lady Eagles won the Class 2A girls high school state basketball title, 40-32, at the Frank Erwin Center.
The title was the program’s fifth straight, a record for Class 2A, and eighth overall. Lady Eagles senior transfer guard Braylee Flaska was named the title game’s most valuable player after registering a game-high 16 points to go with six rebounds.
The post players for both teams traded the first points to begin the scoring. Both teams had imposing paint presence, but the center of attention spread quickly to other regions of the half-court games, as the Lady Eagles (35-5) and Lady Badgers traded offensive punches over the next three periods.
Tied at the end of the first, then second quarters, and separated by a mere two points at the end of the third, it was Brock’s defense once again providing the difference, as it had done throughout its 2012-13 campaign. The pressure finally broke the back of the Merkel offense, which could muster just a handful of points in the final stanza as Brock widened its lead en route to a 40-32 win — and a fifth-consecutive Class 2A state title.
It was only the second loss of the season for Merkel, which finished with a 38-2 record.
Knotted at 16 coming out of the half, senior Taylor Wallace hit a three-pointer 10 seconds in, providing the final lead change of the contest, though the outcome would remain in question for another quarter and a half. In the final period, the Lady Eagles grew the lead to 11 when Flaska hit a jumper at 2:45. The key provided a productive haven for Flaska during the game, who took advantage of the soft spot in the Lady Badgers’ defense as it presented itself.