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COLUMBIA, MO. • Whitfield sophomore center Aijha Blackwell wanted an immediate rematch.

Maybe not a good idea — just yet.

Minutes after the Warriors' 80-39 loss to Strafford in the Class 3 girls basketball championship game Saturday at Mizzou Arena, the 6-foot scoring machine lamented a wasted opportunity.

"I don't want to feel this feeling ever again," Blackwell said. "Hopefully, we can see them again next year."

Strafford, the beast from the southwest, capped off a record-setting 33-0 campaign with its second successive state championship.

The Indians set a record for most wins by a girls team in one season without a loss. They have won 49 successive games and boast a starting lineup that features four underclassmen.

So Blackwell and the Warriors, who have three starting underclassen, may get their wish.

But on this night, it was no contest.

"That's a great team over there," Whitfield coach Mike Slater said. "From the second quarter on, it seemed like they didn't miss a shot."

Slater was not exaggerating by much.

The Indians hit 11 of 17 shots in the second half while pushing a 47-25 halftime lead to as many as 41 points. The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

Blackwell had 10 points and six rebounds, both team highs.

But she committed three fouls in the game's first 5 minutes and 54 seconds and spent the rest of the half on the bench.

Her presence on the court may have helped a little, but the Indians were simply better in every facet.

"They're good," Whitfield sophomore Nia Griffin said. "It's different facing a team that can shoot that well."

Whitfield (25-7) showed no intimidation early, keeping even at 11-11 until Blackwell went to the bench. Strafford promptly went on a 24-8 run over the next 5:56 to take command 35-19.

Sophomore Hayley Frank led the Indians with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Abby Oliver added 22 points.

Strafford shot 54 percent for the game, including the same percentage from 3-point land. It hit 15 of 19 free throws.

"We heard that they thought they were going to beat us," Oliver said.

The Warriors fell behind 6-0 but caught up at 11-11 on a 3-pointer by Jade Moore with 2:59 left in the first period. Senior Jessica Scales added a triple less than two minutes later to get her team to within 15-14.

But Frank and Oliver responded with driving layups and the Indians were off and running.

Whitfield made the most of its first final four appearance. It beat Trenton 53-41 in the semifinal round Thursday behind Blackwell's 21 points and 13 rebounds.

But the end came painfully for the Warriors, who were in no mood to enjoy their second-place finish after the blowout.

"It hurts," Griffin said. "But, it'll make us work harder to get back here again."

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