Dodd City’s second half halts Nazareth’s quest for fifth straight 1A title

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Dodd City’s Dani Baccus dribbles by a Nazareth defender during the Class 1A state championship game in San Antonio’s Alamodome on Wednesday. [Mackenzie Teal/ Press Pass Sports]

SAN ANTONIO— In a tale of two halves, Dodd City used a strong inside game on both ends of the court to capture the program’s first ever University Interscholastic League Class 1A state championship, unseating Nazareth, 30-21, on Wednesday morning at the Alamodome in San Antonio

Making their 30th appearance at the state tournament, the Swiftettes were unable to add to their national record of 24 state championships. The loss also snapped a dominant run of four consecutive 1A titles won by Nazareth.

After four losses in previous state games to the Swiftettes, the Lady Hornets were finally able to crack Nazareth code, finishing a perfect season at 32-0.

“When you choose to play a game the ball isn’t going to bounce your way,” Schilling said. “That’s life. If we can be better people because of it then I can live with that. It’s hard because I wanted it so bad for this team, especially these seniors. I know what they’ve all gone through to put themselves in this position.”

The game saw momentum swings in the first half. The Lady Hornets led 6-5 after one, but the Swiftettes took over in the second quarter going on a 9-0 run sparked by Iris Schilderink’s seven points off the bench. Add the defense of senior Emma Kleman who had two blocks and two steals in the quarter, and Nazareth went to the half up 16-11.

However, the second half proved fatal for the Swiftettes. Dodd City senior guard Dani Baccus sparked the Lady Hornets as Baccus poured in ten points while running an efficient offense. The mismatch then came in the form of 6-foot-3 Journie Hilliard. Hilliard grabbed five boards, two steals and a block in the second half but the senior’s stature inside proved intimidating for Nazareth as the Swiftettes failed to get good looks inside. By the time the the third quarter was over, Nazareth was left stunned by being held scoreless, and found itself trailing 24-16.

Nazareth finished the third 0-for-6 from the field, and were only 2-of-16 the entire second half.

“Dodd City played good defense and we just couldn’t get our shots to fall in the third quarter” Schilling said,” Dodd City came out and proved its ranking and proved how good their record was. They played good defense and took us out of what we wanted to do”.

Hilliard earned game MVP honors tallying 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Baccus poured in 12 with six assists. She was also 6-of-6 at the free throw line.

Nazareth, which claimed its fifth straight Region I title, finishing another incredible year at 27-6, was led by Schilderink’s seven points.

Nazareth 5 16 16 21

Dodd City 6 11 24 30

N— Iris Schilderink 7, Mackenzy Corrales 3, Merry Gerber 3, Presley Wheeler 3. DC— Journie Hilliard 13, Dani Baccus 12. Records: Nazareth 27-5; Dodd City 32-0.

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