Liberty Girls Basketball Team Wins State Championship

The Liberty High School girls basketball team’s championship matchup Saturday with Lubbock Cooper was fast-paced, back and forth, and for the most part, a nail-biter. The game at the Alamodome in San Antonio had the intensity you would expect on the final day of the season.

It also had the ending that the Liberty players had hoped for, and expected, since before they started practicing for the 2022-23 season. The players, whose confidence showed in a chat group they called “Ring Getters,” made the key plays down the stretch in a 57-52 victory that clinched the Class 5A state championship.

Then it was time to celebrate.

“We did it! We did it!” the players chanted as they danced on the Alamodome court.

The Redhawks certainly did, despite falling behind by 11 points less than six minutes into the game. Coach Ross Reedy’s message to his players after the early adversity was to keep their composure.

“I’m just real proud of the kids,” Reedy said, “given the fact that we played a great team who jumped out on us right away.”

Cooper (31-7) got the early jump, but Liberty (29-10) took control after that. The Redhawks battled back from the early 13-2 deficit to take a 23-21 halftime lead, and they stretched the lead to 37-30 by the end of the third quarter. Liberty dominated inside, outrebounding Cooper 37-18 and scoring 30 points in the paint to just 12 for Cooper, which had its 10-game winning streak snapped.

Liberty won its final 16 games of the season, and the crowning victory demonstrated why the Redhawks were so difficult to beat over the last two months. In the second and third quarters combined Saturday, Liberty's tenacious defense allowed Cooper to make only three total field goals. In that same two-quarter span, Liberty’s Keyera Roseby (21 points, eight rebounds) had five field goals alone – and three of them were 3-pointers.

“This is the best experience,” Roseby said. “It’s unreal. It feels great. I’m just glad that my team and I won.”

Roseby, a 5-11 junior guard, was named the tournament MVP and 6-1 freshman guard Jacy Abii (15 points, three rebounds) was named to the All-Tournament Team. They had plenty of support from their teammates, starting with the team’s three starting seniors: point guard Journee Harris (seven points, six rebounds, five assists), forward Za’Naiha Hensley (four points, eight rebounds) and guard Jezelle Jolie Moreno (two points, seven rebounds).

Off the bench, junior Judith Aluga (two points and three rebounds) and freshman Lilian Johnson (six points) each made key baskets in the final minutes as Cooper tried to rally.

Moreno got to celebrate a second state title after playing for Liberty’s 2020 state champion. This was Liberty’s fourth trip to the state tournament in five years and the fifth trip overall. The only thing that kept Liberty from five straight trips to the state tournament was fellow Frisco ISD school Memorial, which beat Liberty in the regional final last year and ended up as the 5A state runner-up. A Frisco ISD girls basketball team has played in the 5A state final for five straight years.

“For us to be that representation, it means a heck of a lot to us,” Reedy said, “because we respect the quality that’s across our state and also in our area.”

Championship Game Stats

Find photos and video from the state tournament on Twitter: @friscoisdsports

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