The last time the Randolph-Clay Lady Red Devils played for a state championship, a slow start left them frantically rallying late, only to come up short.
That was 2013, when the Lady Devils fell to Gordon-Lee.
With those memories still fresh in their minds, Randolph-Clay never took their foot off the gas Thursday, dominating Mitchell County for a 53-32 win to claim the A-Public girls' state championship.
"Last year's loss was huge motivation for us," says junior forward Bri Thornton. "This year, we just wanted to come back and win."
The title is the third for the Randolph-Clay program, who also won titles in 1996 and 2000.
The Lady Devils never trailed in this one, jumping out to 14-2 lead in the first quarter.
These teams played three times in the regular season, with Randolph-Clay winning all three by a combined 11 points.
Lady Devils head coach Jennifer Acree knew the Lady Eagles would not go away easily.
"I told them [Mitchell Co.] always made a run in the third quarter in those three games," Acree says. "I said let's put them away."
The team took the words to heart, going on a run in the first three minutes to push the lead from 11 to 18.
Senior guard Brandi Buie led the Lady Devils with 19 points and ten rebounds.
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