Dodging a king-sized bullet, Christ Presbyterian survived a scare from Lipscomb and advanced to its second straight Region 5-AA championship game.
Freshman Meredith Roman scored all 16 of her points in the second half, 11 in the final quarter, helping propel the Lions to a 47-45 semifinal win in a game that was close the entire way Monday night at East Literature gym.
The Lions advance into the title game Wednesday night at 7 against Macon County after Macon squeezed past host East 54-50 in overtime.
CPA senior Anna Mitchell scored nine of her 15 points in the second half, and her rebound basket with 1:29 left gave the Lions the lead for good at 44-43.
A Lipscomb turnover ended up with a Lauren Thompson free throw. After another critical Lipscomb turnover with 12 seconds left, Roman hit two clinching free throws with five seconds left for a 47-43 lead, offsetting a final Lipscomb basket.
That gave CPA its third win of the season over Lipscomb, two of them decided by two points.
“We won with our heart and with our defense,’’ said Mitchell, CPA’s career scoring leader. “Lipscomb came out fighting, we knew they would. We had to match that with our own intensity to be successful. Each time we played them, it was a tough game.’’
Lipscomb had an outstanding game from Kate Bridges who poured in 18 points, consistently driving hard to the basket. Jamie Webb added 10.
Neither team ever led by more than six points. The game was tied three times, with nine lead changes the in the final quarter, with ninth one coming on Mitchell’s big hoop.
“We persevered,’’ summed up CPA coach Mike Ellson. “(Lipscomb’s) Ernie Smith is a great coach and his team played outstanding.’’
“CPA is a team that is very difficult to prepare for with the size and the depth they have,’’ said Smith whose team ended 17-14. “I’m very proud of our team, we came out on fire and held our own with both rebounding and hustle.’’
Lipscomb senior Lauren Safely, who didn’t even start last year, wound up her career with her 67th three-pointer of the season, best in Nashville, for her only points of the game.
East Lit loses heartbreaker
Macon County brought a heartbreaking end to the East Lit season with its 54-50 win in the opener, shoving the Tigers into Wednesday’s final.
The host Eagles, trailing 30-15 at halftime, staged a furious rally and finally caught up at 43-43 with a minute left.
They grabbed their first lead on a Kelli Cowan hoop at 45-43, but stocky Macon post player Calamity Coley put in a rebound basket to tie it with 15 seconds left. East Lit then missed a close-in jumper as the game went into OT.
Coley’s hoop gave Macon a 51-50 lead, and East Lit missed two shots before Macon rebounded. After a time out, Macon threw a long pass to guard Kelsie Gregory, who threw the ball off the backboard to herself, resulting in a game-clinching three-point play.
“We had a very resilient team, who played their best,’’ said East Lit coach Kim Ellis, whose team ended 23-9, believed to be a school record for wins. “We came back on the strength of our defense and we started executing our offense. These girls have been fun to coach and I’ve had some of them for six years.’’
• At McGavock, Hillsboro advanced into the Region 6-AAA girls championship game on Wednesday with a 43-41 win over Brentwood Monday night.
• DII state tournament pairings (at Lipscomb Allen Arena)
Thursday’s Class A semifinals
11 a.m. – FRA vs. Knox Webb, girls
12:30 p.m. – Knox Webb vs. St. George’s, boys
2:15 p.m.—DCA vs. Harding Academy, girls
3:45 p.m. – Webb School vs. USN, boys
Friday’s Class AA semifinals
11 a.m.—St. Benedict vs. Ensworth, girls
12:30 p.m.—MBA vs. Ensworth, boys
2:15 p.m. – Pope JPII vs. Briarcrest, girls
3:45 p.m.—McCallie vs. Mem. CBHS, boys
11 a.m. – Class A finals, girls
1 p.m.—Class A finals, boys
3 p.m. – Class AA finals, girls
5 p.m.—Class AA finals, boys