Senior Kalen Surles had nine points, seven rebounds, four steals to lift No. 4 Lanier to a 52-45 upset of defending champion and No. 1-ranked Lovejoy in the Class 6A girls championship game, giving the school its first-ever state title.
The Longhorns (29-3) tied the game 41-41 when Surles made a 3-pointer with 3:35 left, which sparked a 10-0 run. Lovejoy never got any closer than three points.
Nala Lawrence was Lanier’s top scorer with 10 points and made three 3-pointesr. Christable Ezumah led the team with six rebounds and two blocked shots. Lizzie Campbell and Mekala Fuller scored eight apiece.
Lovejoy (29-4) was led by Anaya Boyd with 15 points and four rebounds. Mariah Spain and Genesis Bryant scored 10 points each.
Lovejoy took a 26-21 lead behind Boyd’s 12 first-half points. The Wildcats hung tough, despite making only 1 of 11 3-pointers in the first half.
Lovejoy had trouble shooting the ball and was just 3-for-25 (12 percent) on 3-pointers. Lanier was 7-for-16 on its treys.
Lanier opened in 2010 and has had individual state champions, but this was the first state title for the Longhorns.