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5A Girls State Tournament: Day One Recap

Last year was the first time that a team that wasn’t from west Texas took home the 5A title.

After the opening day of the 2024 UIL state finals, a title might be coming back to the area.

Lubbock Cooper is in first place with 63 1/2 points, a comfortable margin ahead of Frisco’s 37 points and Azle and Richmond Foster, tied with 31.

Dating back to two classes in 2012-13, 9 of the 11 5A titles were won by a combination of El Paso Hanks, Amarillo Caprock, El Paso Eastwood and Canyon Randall. 

Cooper will have five in the semifinals — where the most points from any individual round can be earned with 9 with a victory.

No. 1-ranked Zoe Bennett is now 46-2 on the year after a pair of wins by fall in the 126-pound bracket. 

Taylin Silco, another No. 1-ranked grappler for the Lady Pirate, scored 31 points in her two matches and is in the semifinals at 138. She’s 38-0 and two wins away from not only a state title but a perfect season. 

She went to the finals last year but lost to Annabelle Davis of Azle. 

Laura Rodriguez had a tough match at 152 with a pin over No. 2-ranked Shyly Brown of Leander Glenn in the quarterfinals. The No. 3-ranked Rodriguez (30-9) won both of her matches by pins.

Fourth-ranked Avey Mitchell (185) pinned both of her foes for bonus points for Cooper. 

Junior Kayla McLearen went 0-2 last year at state and now sits 2-0 and in the semifinals. She escaped with a 2-0 win in overtime against Corpus Christi Moody’s Layla Chap, who was 30-2. McLearen (37-8) faces last year’s runner-up in Jolee Jones…

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Written by Cody Thorn

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