BIRMINGHAM, AL (WSFA) - After a year hiatus, the Samson Lady Tigers Girls Basketball team is back at the top of Class 2A. Samson defeated Sand Rock 69-65 to capture the AHSAA Class 2A Girls State Championship Friday.
"We just held on," said head coach Chad McKnight. "We held on and that's what good teams do."
Samson started out hot with LaTascya Duff hitting some big shots in the early going. She would shoot her way to a 32-point performance.
"I feel like they couldn't stay with me so I just went to the goal and was trying to find the open man, but if they weren't open, I just took it and went up with it," said Duff.
Samson trailed 22-20 after the first quarter, but used a furious comeback in the second quarter.
LaTora Duff would score 14 of her 24 points in the second quarter to give Samson the lead and they never looked back.
"Shooters keep shooting no matter what and just keep playing through everything," said LaTora. "I guess it was my turn to deal with it so I just kept playing my game."
Samson led by as much as 16 and led by 15 with 2:30 to play, but the Wildcats made it interesting down the stretch getting to within four points, but Samson was able to hold off the surge to bring home their second state title in three years.
"We were down a little bit and they were making a run at us, but we didn't fold the tent," said McKnight. "We found a way to win and that's what we kept talking about in the huddle and me hollering at them out there. Just play good defense, rebound, do what you have to do to hold on, and pull out a victory. I think that really implemented the 'Samson Strong' philosophy today. I do want to quote the great Meatloaf, the singer, 'Two out of three ain't bad.'
Samson finishes the year 31-3. This is the Lady Tigers' fourth state championship in the last 12 years.