In January, Frontier looked far from being a championship-quality team.
“Our chemistry was bad, our energy was bad and our shooting was bad,” Lady Mustang coach Clay Stephens said.
Then, shots started to drop and everything else started falling into place.
Saturday, Frontier capped its season with a 53-45 win over Okarche to take the Class A title at State Fair Arena.
“It's unbelievable,” Frontier's Jalissa Gum said. “We've worked for this the last three years now, staying in the gym late and coming in on weekends.
“We wanted this more than anything.”
It was Frontier's third title and first since 2005, when Jenna Plumley starred for Stephens' team.
The Lady Mustangs also won the 2003 title.
“This one was a struggle at times,” Stephens said in comparing the championships. “We were kind of doubting ourselves in January, but then we had six or seven games there at the end where we hit eight or nine 3-pointers a game and really started turning things around.”
Much like their season, things didn't go well for Frontier early in Saturday's game.
Okarche's press gave Frontier some problems early, and the Lady Warriors were hitting shots as they built a lead of as many as six points.
Okarche led into the second quarter until the Lady Mustangs started wearing them down late in the first half.
“It was a rocky start,” Gum said. “But we settled down. We were switching back and forth between our zone and man and were giving then problems.”
Frontier primarily used a 1-2-2 that it had used during the season extensively but hadn't shown much during the tournament.
“Once we started that and started rallying, no one was going to stop us,” Gum said.
Frontier led for the entire second half, but Okarche pulled within two in the final minute before Gum hit a pair of free throws with 54 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.
Marissa Goodman led Frontier (25-7) with 24 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 10 of 17 from the floor.
“She scores a lot for us, but the key to our games down here was Darrian Black,” Stephens said.
Black had 10 points.
Morgan Vogt led Okarche (25-8) with 22 points.