"I thought I couldn't do it without my Santo team, but coming to play with these girls was an awesome opportunity and I'm so thankful," she said after the win. "I don't think anything could beat state, but this was up there. It was pretty cool playing with the best of the best."
For Nemeth, Saturday's win was to be the end of her basketball career. She said she plans to hang up her basketball shoes and attend South Plains College in Lubbock in the fall.
But for her Santo teammate, Raffaele, Mineral Wells High School was not the final stop on the hardwood. The All-State Tournament point guard still has one final game date in the Texas Girls Coaches Association All-Star game and hopes to continue playing at the next level, potentially at the University of Texas in Tyler.
However, she said playing in the Chicken Express classic was particularly special.
"It was kind of bittersweet, because I live in Mineral Wells," she said. "It was kind of nice playing in my backyard, especially with all these girls. I played against Carli Clifton from Windthorst in the playoffs for three years and it was nice to finally play with her.
"It was weird playing against my own teammate, (but) Taylor deserves every bit of (the MVP honors). When she's on fire, boy, you can't stop her. Her quick, turn-around jumper is so hard. She's worked hard all year long. I'm just extremely proud of her."
The game was especially bittersweet for Peña, who got to play the last game of her basketball career on her home court.
"I was just glad that I got to play my last game at home," she said. "It was just special. I wanted to cry, but I didn't."