Friday night was a celebration that the Midlothian Heritage girls' basketball team, its seniors and head coach will not soon forget.
The 61-17 victory at home against Hillsboro on their senior night also resulted in one of the most humble, proud and emotional postgame interviews in recent memory.
And rightfully so, as the Heritage girls clinched the first-ever district basketball championship in program history and set the record for wins in a single season (29).
An ecstatic Jasmine Bailey said the accomplishments "felt great.”
“It feels really good and I love it,” the senior guard with collegiate basketball aspirations added.
Heritage head girls' basketball coach Jason Hodges, however, had to fight back quite a few emotions when asked to put into word the feelings spurred by the accomplishments.
“It’s good," Hodges said as he choked up. "These kids have worked, especially the seniors who have been here all four years. Just the culmination of that and to earn this tonight is truly awesome.”
Hodges added, “It being senior night and having a lot of things going on with a chance to win the district outright and break the school record in wins, we just came out guns blazing. It was probably one of the best first quarters we have played all year and we kept that momentum all the way through the game. It didn’t matter who was on the floor. It didn’t matter if it was the starters or the subs, everyone played phenomenal tonight.”
Bailey led the way for the Jaguars with 19 points, while Blythe Williams had eight and Danielle Wallace scored six.
Both Lexi Kennedy and Elizabeth Schmidt chipped in five points and Kaylee Robinson and Saige Klor each accounted for four.
Kara Mahoney scored three points and Kylar Kenter, Rachel Allen and Karena Tipton all scored two.
The win moved Heritage to 29-5 on the season and 9-0 in District 17-4A. The Jaguars previously clinched at least a share of the district title Friday against Ferris, 42-33.
TUESDAY AND BEYOND
The Jaguars returned to action Tuesday on the road against Alvarado in their regular-season finale and closed out the regular season with a lopsided win.
The 61-25 victory also meant the Jaguars finished District 17-4A with a perfect 10-0 record, their first undefeated district mark in program history.
Heritage is now 30-5 on the season and will face (18-13) China Spring at 8 p.m. on Tuesday in the 4A bi-district round at Corsicana High School.
Jasmine Bailey led the way for the Jaguars Tuesday with 17 points, while Leah Chancey scored nine and Kylar Kenter and Lyla Wyrick each chipped in six.
Blythe Williams and Saige Klor both added five points to the victory. Gabby Stripling, Lexi Kennedy and Elizabeth Schmidt all scored three points and Danielle Wallace and Karena Tipton both added two.
Hodges said his team needs to “keep sharp” as they head into the final playoff tune-up.
“We will open the playoffs against a very tough team out of Waco, either China Spring or Waco Connally, so we have to keep that sharp mentality and that sharp edge in practice,” Hodges added.
Fred Phipps/Daily Light contributed to this report.