HOT SPRINGS -- Saturday was a happier state championship game day for the Mountain View Lady Yellow Jackets.
The Lady Yellow Jackets, who lost last year's Class 3A girls state championship game one year ago to the day, defeated the Atkins Lady Red Devils 59-48 in front of 4,251 at Bank OZK Arena.
Mountain View fell 67-59 on March 9, 2018, to Charleston in the 3A title game.
A year later, the Yellow Jackets were able to win their second state title overall and first since 2011 thanks to the guard duo of Kaley Shipman and Aubrey Isbell, who combined for 45 of the team's 59 points.Gallery: 3A Girls Basketball State Championship
"It's a relief," Mountain View Coach Casey Scribner said. "But it [the loss to Charleston] brought us close last year. Losing that game was such a gut punch. Then, to regain our composure to put in 12 months of work to get back here, you can't say anything else about the kids."
Isbell, a sophomore, led the Lady Yellow Jackets with 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds.
"This is such a dream come true," Isbell said. "I'm so thankful for having Coach [Scribner] and Kaley and my team by my side because they're my family."
Shipman, a senior, finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
"She's a great player," Atkins Coach Wesley Kuhn said of Shipman, who earned MVP honors. "She's a great leader on the floor. She's tough to guard."
Mountain View (29-5) shot 47.8 percent (22 of 46) from the floor and outrebounded Atkins 29-28.
Sophomore guard Lindsey Cox led the Lady Red Devils, who shot 36.8 percent (14 of 38), with 13 points. Classmate Emily Killer had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Also, Ashton Dillard, a sophomore, grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.
Mountain View led 28-25 at halftime.
Killer made a three-pointer with 6:01 left in the third quarter to pull Atkins within 32-31. But the Lady Red Devils would not make another field goal for the rest of the quarter and had two turnovers, as the Lady Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 43-36 entering the fourth quarter.
"Teams like that, you can't go through stretches without scoring," Kuhn said. "You have to take advantage on offense. We didn't take advantage where we needed to.
"Those key moments are huge in a game like this."
Senior forward Tori Pack broke the Lady Red Devils' seven-minute field goal drought with a three-pointer to cut the lead to 45-39 with 7:01 remaining.
Mountain View's largest lead was 59-46 with 47 seconds left. Isbell (8 points) and Shipman (6 points) scored 14 of the Lady Yellow Jackets' 16 points in the fourth quarter to help their team pull away.
The Lady Red Devils led 16-14 at the end of the first quarter. But the Lady Yellow Jackets went on a 10-2 run to take a 26-18 lead with 3:06 left in the second quarter.
Isbell began the run with a layup that gave Mountain View an 18-16 lead. Junior guard Avery Decker hit a three-pointer to extend the advantage to 23-18 with 3:39 left in the first half. With 3:06 remaining in the second quarter, Shipman completed a three-point play for a 26-18 Mountain View lead.
Cox scored at the buzzer before halftime to cut the deficit to 28-25.
Atkins finished 27-7 a year after finishing 4-24. Despite Saturday's loss, the 2018-19 season was one to remember for Kuhn, who credited his sophomore class for boosting the Lady Red Devils.
"I didn't have the depth that I do this year," Kuhn said. "I knew that our sophomores were good. I didn't know that they were going to come in and do what they did this year. I think that's what really pushed our seniors, finally, into the playing the game they wanted to play."
The senior has been solid throughout her career, and she didn’t disappoint in her final high school game. The Arkansas Tech commit ended the day with 21 points and 7-of-16 shooting, 7 rebounds and 3 steals for the Lady Yellowjackets, who pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Three of Mountain View’s five defeats were to teams that played for a state title (Batesville, Berryville, Melbourne). … All seven of Atkins’ losses, prior to Saturday, were by double digits. … Mountain View doubled up Atkins on points in the paint (28-14). … The Lady Red Devils return their nucleus next season, including sophomore starters Emily Killer, Ashton Dillard and Lindsey Cox. … The Lady Yellowjackets advanced to the semifinals in 2017 and lost in the finals last season before winning the title in 2019. … Before this season, Atkins hadn’t played in the state tournament since 1995.
At a glance
CLASS 3A GIRLS
STATE TOURNAMENT SCORES
Mountain View 59, Atkins 48
Atkins 56, Charleston 37
Mountain View 67, Trumann 30
Atkins 67, Fouke 58
Charleston 60, Hoxie 42
Trumann 53, Lincoln 44
Mountain View 57, Harding Academy 49
Fouke 51, Tuckerman 47
Atkins 56, Valley Springs 41
Hoxie 51, Helena-West Helena 18
Charleston 68, Lamar 53
Lincoln 48, Central Ark. Christian 47
Trumann 50, Centerpoint 46
Mountain View 62, Two Rivers 41
Harding Academy 58, Ashdown 54
Senior Kaley Shipman made the most of her final high school game, scoring 21 points and grabbing 7 rebounds to help the Lady Yellowjackets pull away in the fourth quarter.
Mountain View’s Aubrey Isbell (21) puts up a shot over Lori Pack of Atkins during the second quarter of Saturday’s game in Hot Springs. Isbell led Mountain View with 24 points.
Mountain View players celebrate as time expires in the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 59-48 victory over Atkins on Saturday in the Class 3A girls state championship game.
Sports on 03/10/2019
Print Headline: Much happier result