The Saturday Morning Blogger – Lady Eagles state championship run
During five years with the Canyon News, I attended three girls’ state championship basketball game in my official capacity. The Lady Eagles won all three. Since leaving the newspaper, they won their third in a row in 2016 and are looking for a four-peat this year. Friday night they overwhelmed Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill by a score of 66-39 in the semi-final. Saturday (March 4) afternoon at 3 p.m., they will play for their fourth consecutive state championship, this time against Mansfield Timberview.
There are some amazing young athletes on this year’s team, just as on the last three, but the common factors binding them all together is head coach Joe Lombard and two-time state tournament MVP Angel Hayden who has been a varsity starter since her freshman year.
As this is being written, we have no idea what the final score of that game will be, but Canyon’s Lady Eagles have every incentive to play their best. If past history is any predictor, their best is likely to produce some amazing results in the history of Texas UIL sports.
Tom Clancy has been quoted as saying that fiction is harder to write than non-fiction, because fiction has to be believable. When the New England Patriots recovered from a stumbling season in 2001 to win their first Super Bowl championship with a second-string quarterback in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, it was “storybook” writing. The Patriots bringing the nation to its feet after such a terrible blow was something that many would have blown off if it had been a fictional story.
There have been times when real sports news has played out in life like a fairy tale. By Saturday evening, March 4, 2017, we’ll know if the 2016-2017 basketball season will add another fairy tale ending to the illustrious history of Canyon’s Lady Eagles, Coach Joe Lombard, and senior Angel Hayden.
The fact that this season is coming to an end during the middle of crises for the Lombard family adds to the drama, and perhaps gives extra incentive to the team in what is shaping up to be quite a game in the Alamodome.