Kiyleyah Parr stamps her name into Waco La Vega history

Photo by Laython Washington

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A night in which the UIL recognized arguably Waco La Vega’s greatest team, a 33-0 unbeaten championship roster in 2014, a new generation etched their names into the record books.

Not only did La Vega pull the program’s first back-to-back in program history with a 45-36 win over an historically storied Canyon, but the Pirates also likely added another name right next to the likes of legendary guard Juicy Landrum in title-game MVP Kiyleyah Parr.

It’s not only the stat line that stands out about Parr’s game, although that’s impressive as it is. It’s the relentlessness in which she plays. Again, the numbers do highlight her contributions (21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 8 steals) but it doesn’t show off her 90-feet of aggressive pressing, her constant initiating of the team’s on-ball pressure and trapping and her incredible handles and controlling of the game’s tempo as the lead guard. All at the domineering height of … 5-foot-5.

“It's something that's a different level than probably what you see every day in practice,” said Canyon head coach Tate Lombard about La Vega’s style of play. “And so, until you're in the fight, you don't really know how it feels, so just everything’s a little tougher. Getting in your offense is stuff, getting the ball down (the court) is tougher.”

Marcus Willis’ team plays arguably the most aggressive brand of basketball in Texas on both ends of the floor and it all starts with Parr. Even when the Wichita State signee was in foul trouble, she maintained her aggression on defense and got smarter with her steal attempts.

She picked up two quick fouls to start the second half and the refs told her that it was her body that was getting her in trouble with the reach-in attempts.

“Honestly I will never not be aggressive,” Parr said. “I mean, that's just me. That's just who I have to be with my size.”

When La Vega needed it most as Canyon brought the contest to a one-score game, Parr slyly poked the ball loose twice and converted both turnovers on the other end in the fourth period. One of the steals came less than 15 seconds after Parr connected on a much-needed 3-pointer to push a then one-point lead to a four-point lead. La Vega never trailed in the game.

“As hard as to score against them, you don't want to give them easy stuff and so (Parr) came up with it with two clutch (steals) in the third or fourth quarter, wherever that was, where we made a run,” Lombard said. “And that was an unfortunate.”

When La Vega needed to run clock late, the high-octane Pirates showcased composure. Parr was instrumental there too but as were fellow seniors Mar’Cyah Willis and Syndey McKinney in maintaining possession under pressure.

“We can slow it down and beat you up too,” Marcus Willis said. “We can stall and give it some time and make the right decisions and that's exactly what we do. We’re just not one-dimensional.

“My girls are dominant. I get on their nerves, and they get on mine. But we were built for this.”

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