Friday, March 18, 2011
Peyton's Redemption Song...
Last year the Wylie girls basketball team nearly won a state title with a team full of senior role players and an outstanding sophomore guard, Peyton Little (#24 in the photos), who wasn't afraid to shoot from anywhere. Well, after all the seniors graduated and this year's team of mostly sophomores and freshmen lost seven games of its first 10 games and was 5-12 at one point I figured the chances of making it to Austin were nothing but a pipe dream.
But, then the underclassmen on the team started learning their roles and the blue chipper was gaining more confidence in her young teammates. They easily won district (not a huge surprise) and started making statement wins in the playoffs. With only one senior on the team, who was a really solid player and great leader, it was starting to look like they were making a run a year earlier than expected. And, with Peyton Little, a junior who has already committed to play at the University of Texas, and who is good enough to play on most guys teams, they were looking unbeatable. I also wonder how many teams saw the 12 losses and thought about overlooking them.
After a pretty easy 23-point win in the state semifinals and a game that held Little "in check" with only 23 points. It was a wonder if she had hit the wall or decided to save her best for last. Well, Little showed very quickly that it was the ladder. Scoring 20 of the team's 29 first half points and a championship game-record 43 total points, she left no doubt who the best player on the court was and that she wouldn't have a repeat of last year's disappointment. With all but one of these players coming back, next year could prove very interesting. And, the best part of the whole thing is, since we staying in Austin, I had no problem getting to the game early and had all the batteries for my cameras. Plus, I was able to set the broken lens to its widest angle for the remote and later for the celebrations shots.