Walking off the court Saturday after their area-round loss, the Boyd Lady ‘Jackets’ tears slowly turned to smiles.
With another large and proud fan base behind them, the team members began to realize what they had accomplished.
“I’m really impressed with the kids here at Boyd,” Crafton said after the emotional loss. “They fought so hard and did things no one expected them to do.
“They weren’t supposed to make the playoffs after not winning a district game last year, and then they win their first playoff game against a ranked opponent. It’s been really fun to coach these kids.”
The ninth-ranked Callisburg Lady Cats (38-4) swept Boyd (24-18) in three games Friday to advance to the regional quarterfinals against Caddo Mills.
Callisburg won the match 19-25, 11-25, 18-25.
As the Lady ‘Jackets huddled around Crafton at the end of the match, she told them they had nothing to hang their heads about. The senior group will have the lasting legacy of the class that helped get Boyd their first postseason recognition.
“I wish I had them a few more years,” Crafton said. “They were great to coach. They are great kids with great leadership qualities.”
Boyd’s chance to put a dent in the match escaped them in the first game. Callisburg jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but an ace by Britney Howard got the Lady ‘Jackets back within 7-5.
The Lady Cats’ advantage grew to as many as six before Boyd cut it to 16-15 late.
But after a Callisburg timeout the Lady Cats responded with 9-4 run to close out the first set.
Boyd never got back on track after that. Callisburg dominated the second game, cruising to a 25-11 win.
“They run a really fast offense and sometimes if you’re not running in sync, it hurts,” Crafton said. “We played hard, but we just made some errors at crucial times and that hurt our momentum.”
Another nice start in the third game gave Callisburg a commanding 13-4 lead. A Brooklyn Scarborough kill sparked a 7-4 Boyd run to get within 24-18, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Cats put the match away.
“We had a few communication errors and some mistakes we don’t normally have and it got us out of sync,” Crafton said. “They [Callisburg] are a strong team and there is a reason they are ranked.”
Kelcei Ferguson led Boyd with seven kills and Scarborough had four blocks.
Howard added 13 digs and two aces. Baylie Harris dished out 20 assists.