Colonial Forge's Shakira Austin drills a jumper after receiving a pass off an offensive rebound from teammate Cameren Downs.

Colonial Forge defeats Oakton in 6A state title game

Senior guard Camille Downs scored her team’s first 14 points and finished with 21 total, as Colonial Forge (23-6) defeated Oakton 52-38 Saturday evening to win its first state title.

It was tough sledding for the Cougars (24-5) from the get-go, as Downs sparked the Eagles to an early lead they would never relinquish. The Cougars gave 6’5″ Colonial Forge junior center Shakira Austin a lot of attention on defense but Downs stepped up, attacking the rim and draining jumpers.

“They came out ready to roll. This is by far the best team I’ve ever coached, and they showed it tonight,” Colonial Forge coach Lashaun Cook said.

Austin, a University of Maryland commit, was effective limiting points in the paint for the Cougars. Oakton senior forward Delaney Connolly did damage hitting short jumpers and finished with 17 points, but the Cougars could not generate consistent offense with Austin guarding the lane. Point guard Kailyn Fee and forward Maddie Royle were limited to 10 points between them, with Fee fouling out early in the fourth quarter.

Oakton's Kailyn Fee attacks the lane. The talented University of Richmond commit had an off-shooting night.
Oakton’s Kailyn Fee attacks the lane. The talented University of Richmond commit had an off-shooting night.

“Yeah it’s tough, big girl coming at you you kind of shoot a little differently,” Fee said in reference to Austin.

The Cougars can take pride in a season where they came up short at districts and regionals, but battled back hard to come within a game of coach Fred Priester’s second state championship. They managed to out-rebound the imposing Eagles and despite going down early double-digits only trailed by five at the half. Although they lose three seniors who will attend Division I schools next year, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see Priester’s squad make states for the tenth time in his career.

“Every season I’ve coached we’ve had special moments,” Priester said. “This season we’ve had all kinds of moments, but I’m very, very proud these girls were able to accomplish what they were able to accomplish–to overcome some of the difficulty and adversity that we’ve had.”

–Chris Jollay

stats are official

CONNOLLY 7-15 2-2 17 9 0
ROYLE 2-11 0-2 6 2 1
KENEFICK 1-5 1-2 4 4 3
MORI 2-5 1-2 5 8 3
FEE 1-12 2-2 4 2 2
McMarlin 0-0 2-2 2 0 0
Yu 0-1 0-0 0 1 0
Richardson 0-1 0-0 0 1 0
Meshanko 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
TOTALS 13-50 8-12 38 36 9
Team Rebounds: 9
Threes: Royle 2-6, Kenefick 1-4, Fee 0-4, Mori 0-1, Connoly 1-5, Yu 0-1
AUSTIN 4-9 4-8 12 12 3
GAITHER 2-7 4-5 8 5 0
SULLIVAN 2-6 1-2 5 3 0
CAMEREN DOWNS 2-6 0-0 4 0 3
CAMILLE DOWNS 7-17 4-5 21 9 3
Shellington 1-1 0-0 2 1 0
TOTALS 18-46 13-20 52 33 9
Team Rebounds: 3
Threes: Camille Downs 3-7, Sullivan 0-2, Austin 0-1, Gaither 0-1, Cameren Downs 0-1