Skyline girls make first-ever trip to state tournament

Skyline girls make first-ever trip to state tournament

Video

Skyline girls make first-ever trip to state tournament

By

DALLAS – With inches of snow covering North Texas Thursday, classes were canceled at Skyline High School and the parking lot in front of the gym was almost completely empty.

The only students who made it to school Thursday were the ones on the girls basketball team.

“This has to be done,” said guard Raven Johnson. “We need this. We want this.”

They had a short practice before leaving for San Antonio and the state tournament.

With no other students around, Skyline didn’t get much of a send off — just one dad with a drum. But, that was just fine with Head Coach Cassandra McCurdy, who’s waited 28 years to make the trip.

“It’s indescribable,” said McCurdy, who has had led a lot of great teams, but had never gone to state. “Overwhelming. Pleasing. Just tickled pink.”

Johnson said she and the other players immediately saw how much this means to the coach following the regional win Sunday.

“Probably just how emotional she was after the game,” Johnson said. “It was such a big deal that she actually finally gets to go to the state tournament.”

Skyline’s regional win capped an unlikely run to the state tournament, considering one of their best players and Baylor signee Alexandria Gulley hasn’t played since November because of a torn Achilles.

“[I’m] just being that voice on the bench,” Gulley said. “Since I know what they’re going through, [I’m] just trying to help them out, keep them calm, and let them know I’m still here.”

The bus was supposed to leave at noon, but took off about 30 minutes late. But, as Coach McCurdy knows, it’s better late than never.

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports