Coming into its semifinals matchup with Holden, one of the top teams in the state regardless of class, Hicks knew it would have it hands full.

Holden was as good as advertised, as it defeated Hicks 71-36 Wednesday afternoon in the Class B State Semifinals at Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria, Louisiana.

"I feel like this is the finest group of young ladies I've ever had the privilege to coach," Hicks head coach Michael Charrier said. "It's a young group. The value they've put into our program and the excitement that they built at our school cannot go unrecognized. I know it's a tough loss, and we played hard, and Holden is fabulous team. But you're going to see the greatest things about this team is ahead of them, not behind them."

Despite the loss, Hicks can deflect on the growth the team has made over the years and where the program is headed.

"I'm excited about our future, and it was tough loss, but it was a joy to make it to the top 28," Charrier said. "We're going to take this as a learning experience, and every girl got a lot of floor time. We're going to build from that.

"I told my girls that when we go to state, make sure they put an 's' on the end of the Hicks, because you're putting the school back on the map. There was excitement, and the community was fired up."

The Lady Pirates kept it close early, trailing 20-13 at the end of the third quarter by hitting three 3-pointers.

However, in the second quarter, the Holden defense took over and limited Hicks to just three points in the period to take a 35-16 lead into halftime.

The Lady Pirates were also limited offensively due to go-to scorer Lauren Quinn getting into foul trouble in the first half. The standout eighth grader picked up her fourth foul in the second quarter.

"I learned how to keep my cool," she said. "I knew I had to not foul, but they were pretty good and pretty big. I just learned when to foul and how to foul."

Holden kept the pedal down in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Pirates 24-11, and sealed the win in the fourth quarter to advance to the state championship game.

"The size alone contested all of our shots," Charrier said. "We have to get better on the boards. Whoever wins the rebound battle has the best shot to win the game. That's the biggest thing I can pick at."

Despite her foul trouble, Quinn led Hicks with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.