COPPELL — The Colony simply had too much size, too much speed, and too much firepower for Highland Park on Friday.
Despite a valiant effort, the Lady Scots fell 48-33 in the area round of the Class 5A Region II playoffs, ending their season.
The state-ranked Lady Cougars (35-1) never trailed in the game and pulled away with a 17-0 run to start the second half. Meanwhile, HP struggled offensively in the first and third quarters, and by the time the Lady Scots (23-9) started a late rally, they already were too far behind.
After trailing by just six points at halftime, HP was scoreless for more than six minutes, leading to the pivotal spurt that allowed The Colony to surge ahead 39-16.
“They got hot shooting, and I think that took the air out of us a little bit,” said HP head coach Nicole Fleming. “I think our pace came out a little slower in the third quarter.”
The Lady Scots scored the next 12 points over a span of seven minutes but couldn’t cut the margin below 10 points down the stretch.
“They’ve always been a resilient group,” Fleming said. “They’re never going to give up, even when the odds are stacked against them.”
Earlier, The Colony used a 7-0 run during the first quarter to claim an advantage it never relinquished. HP couldn’t find its rhythm early, and had more turnovers (five) than points (four) in the first stanza.
For much of the game, the Lady Scots neutralized 6-foot-4 post Jade Williams, a McDonald’s All-American and Duke signee, who scored just two points in the first half. She finished with eight points and seven rebounds, but was 0-for-5 from the free-throw line.
With HP collapsing in the paint on defense, The Colony was forced to hit perimeter shots, and that’s where freshman Jewel Spear was clutch. She connected on five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points.
SMU signee Morgan Smith tallied a team-high nine points for the Lady Scots, including seven after halftime. Eve Loewe and Emma Hill added eight points apiece, with Loewe also grabbing eight rebounds.
The loss ends the high school careers of four HP starters, including Smith, Loewe, Hill, and Mary Margaret Roberts. Fleming said that besides their milestones during the past three seasons, the quartet has been instrumental in laying a foundation for future success within the program.
“They’ve just meant everything to the program,” Fleming said. “They’re really passionate about the game and they work hard. They set the standard. They’re going to be missed a lot.”