Burnet fans get in line to witness Lady Dawgs basketball history

The Burnet High School girls basketball team with head coach Rick Gates celebrated winning the Class 4A Region IV championship against Liberty Hill. The 52-36 victory put the Lady Dawgs in the state basketball tournament for the first time in school history. Photo courtesy of Shannon Robison

The Burnet High School girls basketball team with head coach Rick Gates celebrated winning the Class 4A Region IV championship against Liberty Hill. The 52-36 victory put the Lady Dawgs in the state basketball tournament for the first time in school history. Photo courtesy of Shannon Robison

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

The Burnet High School girls basketball team will make history Friday when they play in the Texas University Interscholastic League state championship tournament for the first time.

And a big line of kelly green is headed to the Alamodome for the 1:30 p.m. tipoff to cheer them on. So many fans, in fact, it prompted Burnet school officials to cancel classes March 1.

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Keith McBurnett made the announcement Monday via social media.

Because schools are funded based on average daily attendance, lower attendance would result in a loss of school funding on Friday,” he wrote. “In addition, because of already scheduled extracurricular events on Friday, and the large number of staff members that have expressed an interest in attending the state semifinal game, the district will not have enough substitutes to address the demand.”

And the best news? Students won’t have to make up the day, McBurnett added.

The Lady Dawgs (31-7), the Class 4A Region IV champion, will take on Sour Lake’s Hardin-Jefferson High School (34-4), the Class 4A Region III winner, in the first Class 4A state semifinal game at the Alamodome, 100 Montana St. in San Antonio.

“There is no lack of excitement around here for our Lady Dawgs,” said Kurt Jones, the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District athletic director.

Jones announced on social media that tickets for the semifinal game will be sold from 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in The Doghouse gymnasium foyer on the Burnet High School campus, 1000 The Green Mile.

Each purchase is limited to eight tickets at $16 each, but fans return to the back of the line if more tickets are needed.

If any tickets are remaining, fans can line up again from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the gym foyer.

Tickets at the Alamodome are $19 each.

These tickets are only for the state semifinal game. Tickets for the state championship may be purchased immediately following the semifinal contest.

While Jones declined to say the number of tickets the school district bought to sell to fans, he did say the number is higher than what the University Interscholastic League, the governing body of extracurricular activities in public school districts, recommends schools purchase.

“We want to give our fans a chance to get tickets in hand and not have to worry about getting in line,” Jones said. “A lot of people are excited about the event.”

Community leaders and parents are hosting a community-wide spirit rally at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Hill Country Fellowship, 200 Houston Clinton Drive in Burnet.

Free hot dogs are on the menu.

Jones said Burnet fans outnumbered the Beeville Jones fans during the Class 4A Regional IV semifinal in Kingsville on Feb. 22. Burnet won 44-31. Jones believes that number will be higher at the Alamodome.

He smiled as he recalled hearing stories of other Burnet teams listening in on the Lady Dawgs regional final game Feb. 23 against Liberty Hill.

The track-and-field team was at the Dripping Springs meet, while the baseball team competed at the Fredericksburg tournament.

On the buses on the way home, coaches turned on the basketball regional championship between Burnet and the Lady Panthers.

“When the final minutes ticked off the clock, everyone erupted in excitement,” he said. “Those are great memories for kids, for coaches, and for families.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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