Watkins sisters carry Schroeder to state hoops title

Bria Watkins was the rock to lean on in the first half. Big sister Mariah took over in the second.

Togther, the Watkins sisters helped power Webster Schroeder to a gritty 49-41 win over White Plains in the Class AA state championship Saturday night at Hudson Valley Community College near Albany. It was the first state title in program history and followed the first sectional title won by Schroeder since 1976.

“It is surreal,” head coach Codi Mrozek said. “We just the first sectional championship in 47 years. To win states now, it’s surreal, but it’s also so earned and I knew that this team could do it. Very talented but they buy into everything else. So, it’s very deserving.”

Bria Watkins scored seven of the Warriors’ 20 first half points, including a short floater at the halftime buzzer that sent Schroeder to the locker room up 20-14.

Mariah didn’t hit the scoresheet until nearly the final two minutes of the first half. However, she opened the third quarter with a three-pointer that might also have doubled a warning siren she was going to own the final 16 minutes. She scored 15 of her game high 18 points after the break.

White Plains never went away in this game. Schroeder led by six late in the third quarter when Mya Perales and Addison Morgan canned back to back three’s that doubled the lead to 12 points. It still wasn’t enough.

The Tigers whittled the deficit back down to four with three minutes left in the game, but Morgan navigated two defenders for a fast break l