Senior Breck Clark surpassed the 1,500-point mark for her career, and the second-ranked Dale Lady Pirates earned a state tournament berth by edging defending champion and third-ranked Fairview 54-51 Friday in a Class 2A area tournament contest.
This will be the Lady Pirates’ first appearance in the state tournament under head coach Josh Forsythe.
“It was a well-played game by both teams,” Forsythe said of Friday’s match. “They are the defending state champion, and we knew they weren’t just going to give us anything. We had to go take it from them.
“I’m proud of everybody. Everybody on the team contributed. It was the definition of a team win tonight.”
Dale’s girls are seven-time state champions, with their last title coming in 2010.
Clark, who came into Friday’s game with 1,498 career points, put up Dale’s first points of the night on a putback. She went on to lead the Lady Pirates with 19 points on the night, bringing her current career total to 1,517 going into next weekend’s big show.
“It feels great,” Clark said of her milestone. “That and the win is probably the best night of my life.”
It goes without saying that Clark is excited about next weekend.
“We worked hard for it,” she said. “Everybody on the team earned it, and we’re ready to go.”
“That was a great accomplishment,” Forsythe said of Clark’s efforts Friday.
The Lady Pirates held a thin 11-10 lead after the first quarter, and that margin remained (23-22) at the half. The Lady Pirates were able to pull away a little in the third, leading 36-31 to open the fourth, but Fairview refused to go quietly. Dale held off a stout rally that came up just short, 20-18.
Free throws were crucial — for both teams — as each side got into foul trouble down the stretch. Dale went 13-for-17 at the stripe over the final eight minutes, and finished the game with a solid 24-for-30 (80 percent) mark. Fairview finished at 10-for-12 (83.3 percent).
All eight of Jaelin Flewallen’s points came via the foul shot, and she was 6-for-6 in the fourth quarter.
“That was huge with the game on the line,” Forsythe said.
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Dale was 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) from the field, including a 4-for-9 effort from long range. Lexes Satterwhite, who ended the night with a dozen points, struck twice from 3-point range. Brayden Newton, who netted nine points, connected on Dale’s other treys.
Clark and Danielle Dockrey each led the Lady Pirates in rebounds with six, and Satterwhite and Flewallen finished with four assists each. Satterwhite also registered three steals.
Fairview, now 23-3, was 10-for-18 from the floor. Olivia Mason led the Lady Yellowjackets with a game-high 21 points, including three of Fairview’s seven 3-point field goals.
Now 27-1, Dale will face a yet-to-be-determined state quarterfinals opponent at a time and place to be determined.
Note: Report compiled by Jason Smith.