In a four-year varsity career full of jaw-dropping highlights, senior Endyia Rogers saved her two best performances for last, leading the Lady Friars to wins over third-ranked Prestonwood Christian and second-ranked The Village School and capturing the 2019 TAPPS 6A Girls State Championship.
Rogers – who will suit up for USC in the fall – dropped 39 points, including the game-winning three-point shot with 10 seconds left, and added nine rebounds and five assists in Friday's state semifinal rubber match against PCA.
There was no letting up the following night as she torched The Village for 40 points, including 17 points in the pivotal third period, and added a game-high 13 rebounds and eight assists in the championship game.
But don't let the numbers fool you, while Rogers certainly stole the show, the prize would not be won without some terrific supporting acts, including Paige Bradley's 17 points and nine rebounds in the championship game, along with 10 points and five rebounds in the semifinal.
Natalie Lark's all-around efforts, key minutes off the bench for junior varsity call-up Becca Wright, and big plays at crucial times in both games by Addison Knott, Talia DePetrillo, and Victoria Jordan proved vital to the teams' success.
As if those storylines weren't enough, there's also Jaida Thomas. The senior – injured early in Friday's semifinal contest and on crutches prior to Saturday's championship game – entered for the final moments (hopping on one good leg) and swished a three-point shot as the final buzzer sounded.
It's the 25th state title won by Andy Zihlman and the 29th for the program, most by any program in the nation. For Rogers and Thomas, it's their second in three years.
Lady Friars 70, Prestonwood 67
It was a dramatic weekend, no doubt. Friday's semifinal against PCA was one for the ages, a back-and-forth affair that saw the Lady Friars shoot red-hot early to build an early cushion, then PCA's grit and determination helped the Lions pull back into the game and eventually take the lead in the fourth quarter.
That wouldn't last long.
Rogers quickly responded with a floater to regain the lead just as quickly as PCA had taken it, then after PCA tied the contest with free throws at one end, Rogers took the ball the length of the floor, pulled up at the top of the key and calmly buried the game-winning shot with 10 seconds to play.
Rogers led all scorers with 39, including five shots from long range. Bradley had 10 and Knott added six to go with five rebounds.
Lady Friars 81, The Village School 62
Trailing by a 32-17 margin late in the first half, a cold-shooting Bishop Lynch team never stopped fighting, closing that gap to just six points at the half (33-27) and putting together a 32-point third quarter that left The Village dazed and confused.
The Lady Friars would outscore the Vikings by a 54-29 margin in the second half and turn a 15-point deficit into a 19-point victory, a rare 34-point swing that clinched the state championship.
Rogers sliced through the Viking defense and into the paint for most of her 40 points and also shot 9-for-9 at the free throw line. Her 13 rebounds included six on the offensive glass and many of her eight assists had defenders frustrated and Friar fans on their feet. Rogers scored 17 points in the third period, alone.
With Rogers drawing more attention later in the second half, Bradley buried one mid-range jumper after another, and also converted 9-of-10 free throws. The Lady Friars were 19-of-22 at the line as a team, shooting 86 percent.
DePetrillo added eight points and Wright grabbed six rebounds. A total of 11 players scored points and 10 players grabbed at least one rebound for the Lady Friars, a true team effort.