COLLEGE STATION — Two down … two to go. That's reality as it stands for the Bishop Lynch Lady Friars as they attempt to claim a 28th state basketball championship.
The Lady Friars (26-8) clinched a spot in this weekend's TAPPS 5A Women's Final Four by knocking off Houston's Incarnate Word, as well as district foe Parish Episcopal, during the super regional tournament last weekend.
Bishop Lynch will face Prestonwood Christian (26-9) at 6 p.m. Friday in the second of two semifinal games at Mansfield's Timberview High School. The state championship game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Friars upped their current win streak to nine games with a pair of victories in College Station, starting with Friday's 78-32 rout of Incarnate Word.
Freshman Endyia Rogers pumped in 25 points, junior Mallory Lancaster added 11 and freshman Jaida Thomas had 10 as 12 players contributed to the scoring for Bishop Lynch.
The Lady Friars jumped out quickly to a 21-5 lead after one period, took a 34-12 lead at the break and exploded for 29 points in the third to give them a 63-26 advantage heading into the final stanza.
In Saturday's regional final, Bishop Lynch and Parish stayed neck and neck the entire way as the game was tied 9-9 after one period and 26-26 at halftime.
The Lady Friars had a three-point advantage in the third, which would prove to be the difference in the contest.
With a handful of seconds to play, Mallory Lancaster calmly sunk a pair of free throws to give BL a 46-43 lead, and Parish's Anna Pierce dribbled the length of the court, only to put up a three-point shot that missed everything as time expired.
Senior Taylor Boyd dominated, scoring a game-high 17 points. Murphy Yoxall added nine. Parish's duo of Pierce and Amanda D'Auria combined for 50 points at Bishop Lynch on Feb. 22, but were held to just 16 in this game.
TAPPS 5A Regional Semifinal
IW 5 7 14 6 — 32
BL 21 13 29 15 — 78
Scoring: Endyia Rogers 25, Mallory Lancaster 11, Jaida Thomas 10, Taylor Boyd 6, Bianca Bowring 5, Jessica Taylor 4, Casey Kohler 4, Kristen Gonzalez 3, Murphy Yoxall 2, Whitney Walter 2, Jordan Tibbits2, Gabby Rogers 2, Rhiannon Townsend 2.
TAPPS 5A Regional Final
PE 9 17 7 10 — 43
BL 9 17 10 10 — 46
Scoring: Taylor Boyd 17, Murphy Yoxall 9, Endyia Rogers 4, Bianca Bowring 4, Jessica Taylor 4, Jaida Thomas 4, Mallory Lancaster 2, Elena Wofford 2.
Record: 26-8 overall
Next Game: TAPPS 5A State Semifinal – 6 p.m. Friday vs Prestonwood Christian, at Mansfield Timberview HS