The best season in Walnut Springs girls basketball history came to an end last Friday, but not until the Lady Hornets racked up three playoff wins and completed the season with an impressive record of 26-8.
The Lady Hornets dominated Trinidad, 54-39, in the Class A Division II Region III quarterfinals early last week, before being trounced by Oakwood, 61-21, in the semifinal round of the regional tournament at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.
Both games followed the same script for the winning team - build a big early lead and put it on cruise control.
It was Walnut Springs building the commanding advantage against Trinidad, as the Lady Hornets jumped out to leads of 19-7 after the opening period and 35-14 at halftime. WSHS called the dogs off after the break, but maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
Courtney Gibbons put on one of her best performances of her high school career in the Lady Hornets' last win, scoring 26 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. She also dropped off three assists along the way.
Others in the score column for Walnut Springs included three players - Shadie Shadix, Shakota Billman and Whitleigh Billman - all scored six. Shakota Billman also grabbed five boards. Mariah Hardin had five for the Lady Hornets, while Shea Jones completed the scoring with four.
Kaylee Callahan and Kiaundra Cofer scored 18 and 17, respectively, to combine for 35 of Trinidad's 39 total points.
The magic finally ran out against Oakwood, as the Lady Hornets fell behind early.
OHS jumped out to a quick 19-8 advantage after one period, and led 35-12 at the break. More damage came in the second half, when Oakwood outscored WSHS, 26-9.
Six Lady Hornets scored in the loss, but Gibbons was shut out and had just one rebound.
Shadix scored eight to lead the way, Jones added six, Lauren Powell scored three and collected three steals, Brooke Townley hit a field goal to finish with two and Denver Daughtry and Shakota Billman each had a single free throw. Billman also grabbed a team-high four rebounds.
Oakwood went on to fall to Neches, 35-28, in the regional championship on Saturday. Neches advances to meet Vega in the state semifinals at the Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. The other Class A Division II semifinalists include Roby and Leggett.