AUSTIN (AP) — Rarely is a defending champion so thoroughly dismantled.
Then again, Canyon has a history of making some of the best teams in Texas look out of their league at the state tournament.
Freshman guard Angel Hayden scored 18 points, including all nine for her team in the third quarter, and Canyon rolled over defending Class 4A champion Georgetown 41-22 in the state semifinals Thursday night.
Madison Parker, the only Canyon player left from the school’s 2011 state title team, scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Canyon (33-4) and coach Joe Lombard advance to Saturday’s state final with a chance to win their eighth championship since 2000.
Haley Frias scored eight points for Georgetown (31-7), which went nearly 13 minutes of the first half without a field goal.
The meeting was clash of two of the top coaches in Texas state history as Lombard and Georgetown’s Rhonda Farney both have more than 1,000 career victories.
Lombard also has 15 career state titles at Canyon and Nazareth. His Canyon teams are 15-0 at the state tournament since 2000, their last tournament loss in the 1999 state final.
Canyon has a legacy of dominant performances in Austin and made Georgetown look like a nervous newcomer rather than a defending champion.
Georgetown was just 3 of 12 shooting in the first half. The scoring drought started with five minutes left in the first quarter and didn’t end until Frias made a fast-break layup with 2 seconds left in the second.
Hayden missed five of her first six shots but closed the first quarter with two straight baskets, and a steal and layup by Taylor Jones put Canyon ahead 8-5.
Parker scored nine in the second. Her 3-point play pushed Canyon to a 10-point lead midway through the period. Canyon was trying to set up the final shot of the half before a turnover led to Frias’ basket at the buzzer.
Canyon slowed the game down and picked its shots with its typical clinic of ball-movement and back-door passes. Canyon scored 34 points in the paint for the game and rarely had to settle for jump shots.
Georgetown looked ready to rally when Kendrick Clark cut Canyon’s lead to 21-15 with a putback layup off a missed free throw. Hayden closed the period with seven consecutive points, including a 3-point play with 17 seconds left that made it 28-15 and put the game out of reach.
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