HOT SPRINGS — Star City’s Juquecia Chaney garnered Most Valuable Player honors for her performance in the 4A girls state title game. Chaney scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds statistically. But her overall game spoke volumes.
It was the only way she could communicate after waking up Saturday morning and realizing she had lost her voice.
“It’s not good when your point guard can’t talk,” Star City coach Becky Brown said after the game.
Chaney proved that actions speak louder than words.
Chaney won the award deservingly so, but the vote could have been spread out pretty evenly among her teammates. Chaney earned her hardware but should splinter a piece of it off to the most valuable player off the bench, Kindra Redix. Redix’s play in the second period was high caliber and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Pinnacle at the Summit
It is only fitting that Brown reached the pinnacle of her career at Summit Arena.
Star City can now order its state championship rings, though the hardware probably could have been invoiced after the first quarter. The Lady Dogs had the game well in hand from the opening tip and were never really challenged.
Star City’s “D-up” chant when the opposition has the ball is mind numbing. It’s also a tradition that will continue into the future as the Lady Dogs proved without hesitation that defense wins championships.
Senior guard Laurin Pooree scored six points in the contest, but it was her early three-pointer that changed the face of the Farmington defense.
Once she posed the threat to pull the trigger from outside, the Lady Cardinals had to change their game plan and extend their defense, allowing Star City to pound the ball inside.
Throwing in the towel
Farmington coach Brad Johnson surrendered with two minutes remaining and the Lady Cards down by 19 points by calling a time out and sending in five reserves to finish the game. Star City’s Brown acknowledged and countered by doing the same.
Farmington’s Rene Scheyder could have been the x-factor but turned out to be the z-factor, falling asleep at the wheel. Scheyder was held scoreless and only attempted two shots, one from beyond the arc.
Tic tic tic
It’s not often that a coach feels comfortable at halftime, but Brown admitted in the post-game press conference that she was at ease in the locker room at intermission. In the second half, Brown and the Lady Dogs basically watched the clock as precious seconds elapsed, simply counting down until the inevitable celebration ensued.
Star City’s 56 points was the highest offensive production in the playoffs, four better than the 52 the Lady Dogs posted against Malvern in the 4A South Regional tournament in Dumas and eight better than the season average.
As soon as time expired, the Lady Dogs could consider themselves state champions. For the next 12 months, they will draw more attention, as every opponent will contest the “defending champs”.