The Kell Longhorns and the Sprayberry Yellow Jackets faced off against each other in the region championship game. It was the third time the two teams have played this season.
The last time they met, the two star point guards Crystal Henderson and Flau’Jae Johnson put on a show. Those two lived up to the hype again in the championship as Flau’Jae scored 24 points as Crystal scored 27 points. Crystal caught fire in the second half, scoring 21 of her 27 points.
The Lady Jackets got off to a fast start as they quickly went up 9-2 to start the first quarter. That would be all the scoring in the first as neither team could get their offense moving after the midway point. The Lady Jackets had the lead 9-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Kell’s offense looked better in the second quarter as their ball movement led to open shots. The Longhorns battled their way back into the game after a rough start. They tied the game before halftime after a buzzer-beater layup by Crystal Henderson.
It looked like two completely different teams in the second half as their offense began to click. Sprayberry made tough shots around the basket as they got two layups plus the foul on back-to-back possessions. Sprayberry would go into the fourth quarter with the lead 39-37.
The fourth quarter is where things got heated as both teams traded baskets throughout the quarter. Neither team could gain any separation in this tight contest. Kell opened the fourth quarter with consecutive three-point shots to take the lead. Sprayberry responded with a shot from long range. Kell was up 50-45 with five minutes left in the game.
The Lady Jackets went in a shooting slump as they struggled to get shots to fall halfway through the quarter. When it seemed like Kell was about to pull away, Sprayberry’s Flau’Jae Johnson took over in the final minutes. Flau’Jae scored 11 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter.
The Longhorns held on to the lead in the final minute as the Lady Jackets began to foul to reserve time. The Longhorns knocked down both free throws to put them up 56-51 with 12.8 seconds left. Flau’Jae hit a step-back three-point shot in the next possession to bring Sprayberry to within two points, 56-54. Sprayberry instantly fouled Kell to send them to the free-throw line again and hit both free throws and secure the win 58-54.
The Kell Longhorns were crowned 6-6A region champions after a big performance by Crystal Henderson. Both teams now have their sights set on the state tournament.