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Mansfield Timberview’s cold shooting late dooms the Wolves in Class 5A state title game

Mansfield Timberview just couldn’t get the lid covering their basket off in the second half.

The Wolves hit only one of their final 23 shots from the floor as Frisco Liberty rallied from 12 points down and blew past the Wolves 60-51 in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday at the Alamodome.

“We’re crushed,” said Timberview coach Kit Kyle. “Our hearts are broken right now. It’s difficult to put it in perspective right now, it’s going to take a little time.

“I thought we fought extremely hard. There’s no give up in this team and it’s been that way all year long and even today when things didn’t go our way in the fourth quarter.”

Liberty (34-7), No. 2 in the state in Class 5A, defended its state title after losing to No. 1 Timberview 40-19 earlier this season. The Redhawks also won a state title in 2020 and have never lost in the semifinals in six trips to state.

Liberty has won three and lost three in championship games.

“Timberview is really, really good,” said Liberty coach Ross Reedy. “In all of the state championships that we’ve played in, which is six, that’s the best opponent that we’ve been against. To come out on top against them is pretty special.”

It was a game of runs early with Liberty jumping out to a 12-5 lead, but Timberview answered.

Layups by Emilee Jones and Chrishawn Coleman were sandwiched around a three by Brooklyn Terry as the Wolves tied the game at 12 with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.

Mansfield Timberview’s Chrishawn Coleman goes up for two over Jacy Abii of Frisco Liberty in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.
Mansfield Timberview’s Chrishawn Coleman goes up for two over Jacy Abii of Frisco Liberty in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.

Jacy Abii was terrific for the Redhawks, scoring 30 points and pulling down 12 rebounds to earn Championship Game MVP honors. Her layin with 7:42 left before halftime gave Liberty a 16-12 lead.

“She’s an extremely talented kid, but she’s also huge,” said Kyle of Abii who is a 6-2 sophomore. “She’s big on the glass, can shoot the three from way downtown, she can take you to the rack, she can post you up. She’s an all around skilled offensive player that’s difficult to stop.”

Timberview (40-2) went on a 7-0 run from there with Jones hitting a three and getting a bucket and made foul shot. The Wolves closed the first half with an 8-0 run to take a 29-22 lead at the break.

Coleman had six during the spree and Jones chipped in two with a jumper in the paint.

Timberview extended the run to 12-0 after the half on a three by Jones and another bucket by Coleman, but Liberty began chipping away.

Mansfield Timberview forward Emilee Jones goes up for two of her team-high 23 points against Frisco Liberty in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.
Mansfield Timberview forward Emilee Jones goes up for two of her team-high 23 points against Frisco Liberty in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.

Jones’ basket with 1:41 left in the third quarter gave Timberview a 47-39 lead, but little did anyone know that the Wolves would only hit one more shot from the floor and one more free throw the rest of the way.

Liberty went on a 21-4 run starting with 1:26 left in the third that lasted until the final buzzer sounded.

“You have to give credit to Frisco Liberty,” said Kyle. “They played a great game, especially in the second half...they really cranked it up. They were able to put some pressure on us and they’re so big and long at the top of that press that it gave us some trouble.”

The Wolves had 13 steals in the game and only turned the ball over eight times compared to 19 for Liberty, but that wasn’t enough with their late shooting woes.

Jones led Timberview with 23 points and Terry had a team-high seven rebounds and scored five points for the Wolves.

Coleman added 17 points, five rebounds and four steals despite being a game-time decision to play after straining her Achilles in the semifinals on Thursday.

“Chrishawn Coleman played like a beast,” said Kyle. “There’s no give up in this kid and she’s going to make someone a very good college player.”

Frisco Liberty’s Jacy Abii, the Championship Game MVP, looks to score against Mansfield Timberview’s Kamryn Wilson in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.
Frisco Liberty’s Jacy Abii, the Championship Game MVP, looks to score against Mansfield Timberview’s Kamryn Wilson in the Class 5A state championship game on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Liberty rallied to defeat Timberview 60-51.

Abii was a member of the 2023 USA Women’s U16 National Team that won a gold medal at the 2023 FIBA Americas Championship. She started all six games during the tournament and averaged 8.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals.

This was the Wolves sixth trip to the state tournament and Timberview has reached the championship game each time except for one in 2020. That was the last time that the Wolves were at the state tournament, one in which Liberty also won a title.

Timberview’s lone state title came in 2010.

“This is the best team that we’ve ever had,” said Kyle of her 2024 squad. “It’s the way they play together, it’s the way they care about each other, it’s the way they win together and lose together.

“They’re a unit and a team and that’s what you want as a coach. If you could coach the team we had this year, every year, then I would probably coach until I was 100.”