TRINITY — Since after the 2014-15 season concluded, Sunlake's girls basketball program has had just one thing in mind when it comes to districts: Win the championship.
Armed with back-to-back titles heading into Thursday night's Class 7A, District 8 championship against host Mitchell, Sunlake looked to make it a three-peat. The Seahawks held the Mustangs to a mere 10 points in the first half en route to a 46-29 victory to come away with the district title.
With homecourt advantage for the third straight season and coming off the 2016-17 campaign in which Sunlake reached the region final, the Seahawks are taking it one game at a time.
"We talked about commitment, making good choices," Sunlake coach Reesa Hendrix Pledge said. "We talk about being committed year round and getting better on the court. We talked about making good choices and working hard in the classroom so they can be on the court. I don't know how we've done it, but we did it."
A big part of Sunlake's success over the past three seasons has been its commitment to playing stout defense, as the Seahawks forced the Mustangs into turning over the basketball over 20 times. Sunlake (18-7) never wavered in its defensive pressure the entire contest, making sure Mitchell's perimeter players were never comfortable.
The Seahawks were not without their own faults offensively, turning over the ball 12 times in the second half. Sunlake was able to get solid scoring contributions from senior forward Andrea Wallace, who scored a team-high 13 points, and fellow teammate Kasia Ramirez, who added 10 points.
Mitchell's (15-9) lone meeting against Sunlake in December was a close 57-53 loss on the road. The Mustangs were paced by Selena Dinovo's eight points.