Highland’s Allen will play basketball at ACU

Her father Brent went to Abilene Christian University on an athletic scholarship. So did mother Michelle.And Wednesday, High-land’s Sierra Allen did her part to make sure that her family tradition would continue when she signed a letter of intent to continue her basketball career at ACU.“It’s kind of like a dream come true for me,” the 6-0 senior said after a ceremony to announce her signing was held at Highland’s gym. “I’ve been going to basketball camp (at ACU) since I was real young. For this to happen, it’s unbelievable.”According to Allen, she was actually visiting another Abilene college when she had a chance encounter with ACU women’s coach Julie Goodenough. After observing Allen at a practice, Goodenough eventually offered her a scholarship to play for the Wildcats. But unlike her parents — Brent was signed to a track scholarship and Michelle received one in volleyball — Sierra will play basketball at ACU after graduating from Highland next year.“I’m excited for her,” said Highland coach Shea Bau-com. “She’s worked hard for this (opportunity) and I know she’ll continue to work hard when she gets over there.”However, Allen still has a few goals to chase before her high school playing days are over.She knows she and High-land — ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, Division II by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches — will have targets on their backs this season. A year ago, the Lady Hornets were unranked all season but finished 31-5 and became the first girls team in school history to reach the state tournament in Austin, where they lost to top-ranked Saltillo 41-19 in the semifinals. Sierra, who has earned all-state individual honors the past two years, wants to win a state title her senior year.“I think it (the No. 1 rank-ing) will make us work har-der because we’re the bulls-eye now,” she said. “Prob-ably the main goal I’ve set for myself is to be a leader. Our focus will be to finish the job this year.“We were disappointed when we lost (in the semifinals) last year, but after everything was over, I was just gratified to get to go up there. I know it motivated me to see how much further we can go.”As for playing college basketball, Allen said, “I felt it’s something I need to do. It’s my ministry.” she continued. “It’s something I want to do, and do it to the best of my ability.”