Lady Silver Foxes are State Champs!
“After we beat Spring Valley,” said Rose Robinson, a junior guard, who had 10 points in the game, “it showed that we had the chemistry to beat the number one team and to be here today.”
Add one part destiny.
Asked if there was a time when she thought her Lady Foxes might have the potential to make a title run after falling short in the Upper State finals two years in a row, head coach Faye Norris said, “Just watching the girls over the summer and the progression from November till now, we thought we had something special. It was just a matter of them getting focused mentally.”
“We are just proud to be able to come out here and do this in front of our fans,” Shuler said in front of a cheering Dutch Fork student section after the game. “ We wanted to come out and win big and make a statement, and we did that.”
It all added up to a dominating performance by the Dutch Fork Lady Silver Foxes in defeating the Orangeburg-Wilkinson Bruinettes, 61-29, for the girls’ state 4A basketball championship Friday night, March 2, in the first game of the Weekend of Champions at Colonial Life Arena.
Dutch Fork ends the season with a 27-3 record and its first-ever state championship in girls’ basketball. Coach Joshua Staley will lose only three seniors from the lower state champion Bruinettes who finished the year with a 17-6 record. Sophomore Vondria Ritter led the Bruinettes with 12 points.
Dutch Fork fell agonizingly short of the title game for two years in a row, losing in the Upper State finals to cross-town rival Spring Valley. This was an opportunity that would not get away. The Foxes jumped to an early 8-0 lead and would lead 18-4 after the first period.
“It was great to be able to come out and get that start because it is hard to beat a team three times,” Robinson said. “They played very hard, but they did what we thought they would do.”
Even though Dutch Fork had downed Orangeburg Wilkinson two times earlier in the season, Norris wanted her team to remain sharp and focused on the task at hand to be able to make history for the Foxes’ hoops program.
“I did not want to come in and have them think this was going to be easy,” Norris said. “It is 0-0 and we have got to play hard. It took a lot of maturity. It feels good, but it is great for the girls. I had it in high school, I know how it feels. I wanted this for them. This is something no one can ever take away from them.”
Alaina Coates finished with nine points, Ky’Aire Daniels had six, Sydney Shull added five, Zhane Green and Audra Snipe each finished with four points, and Shelby Curtis had three for Dutch Fork.