The East Literature girls are moving into some uncharted waters with some smooth sailing lately. The Eagles are boasting perhaps their best girls basketball team in the school’s 17-year history and have moved one game from their first district championship.
The No. 2 seeded Eagles (22-7) captured their second win over David Lipscomb this season with a 44-31 District 10-AA semifinals win Friday, collecting a school record 22nd win in the process They meet regular season champ Christ Presbyterian Academy Tuesday on their home court.
“Back in June before summer camps, these girls set their goals high — they want to go to state,’’ said third-year coach Kim Ellis.
“They said they didn’t want to have to pay to park (at the state tourney),’’ Ellis said, smiling. They wanted to be on the bus which took them directly to the gym (MTSU) without having to pay.
“I’ve gone back into the (East Lit) school annuals several years and I can’t find a team which won as many as 22 games, I’m thinking it’s a school record,’’ she said. “I know we got to the finals of the district tournament two years ago before Ezell-Harding beat us.
“These girls have been a joy to coach, and they are all competitive and are setting their goals high,’’ said Childress, whose leading scorer Kelli Cowan collected her 1,000th career point last month.
CPA girls in survival mode
Surviving a big-time scare, the Christ Presbyterian girls righted the ship and appear ready to defend their district tournament championship Tuesday.
Trailing by nine points late (32-23) in the third quarter, the Lions staged a fierce rally to escape an upset bid by Hume-Fogg and pull out a 38-37 victory. Sophomore Mallory Charpentier’s short jumper with nine seconds left capped a furious rally in the final six minutes as the Lions survived two shots by the Knights in the closing four seconds.
CPA (27-4) finally grabbed the lead on a three-point play by post star Anna Mitchell with 1:11 left, then Hume-Fogg retook the lead, setting up Charpentier’s late heroics.
“We just all came together at the right time,’’ said the 5-10 Mitchell, who has scored more than 1,400 points and recently became the school’s leading career scorer. “Our fans really got behind us after they were kind of quiet earlier. I started urging them on in the fourth quarter and they finally got pretty loud.’’
“We showed a strong heart,’’ said Coach Mike Ellson who lit into his team during a time out early in the fourth quarter. “We just weren’t playing with the energy and intensity we needed to. Mallory really hit a big shot.’’
“The sun will come up tomorrow,’’ said Coach Angela Hubbard whose team lost to CPA in the district final last year, then beat the Lions in the region final. “We didn’t take care of the ball against their press in the final quarter.’’
Maplewood’s Wilson suspended
Maplewood Coach Ty Wilson has been suspended for two games following an incident after his team’s one-point loss at Overton Feb. 12.
Wilson got his second technical just after the game arguing with officials and has missed the Panthers’ two games in the District 10-AA tournament at East Lit. He is expected back for his team’s appearance in next week’s region tourney.
Also, the Maplewood and Stratford girls programs have been banned from the 2011 tournaments and fined $2,000 each by the TSSAA following incidents just after their play-in tournament game last Saturday at Stratford.
A last-second shot by Stratford in overtime was allowed, giving the Spartans a 45-44 win although Maplewood protested that the horn didn’t go off on time. A number of fights broke out and an irate fan hit the timekeeper in the head after the game. No security and no school administrators were present at the time.
The Maplewood boys reached the finals after a slow-down 34-24 win over CPA. They meet M.L. King in the finals Tuesday.
CPA was content to let Maplewood hold the ball without any action for nearly the entire third quarter after the Panthers had blown the Lions out earlier. “I felt like if we kept it in single digits, we’d have a chance to win at the end,’’ said Coach Drew Maddux. “We had the game at our tempo, but we missed too many chances.’’
So far in the hotly contested boys tournament, five games have been decided by three points, with two going into overtime.
Elsewhere in tourney action
No. 2 ranked (AP) Montgomery Bell Academy (21-5) crushed Pope John Paul II 69-35 Saturday in the DII sectional quarterfinals of the DII tournament, advancing to the final eight.
But because of losing in a tie-breaker in the final standings to McCallie, it pushed MBA out of a first-round bye and forced the Big Red into a sectional quarterfinal game Saturday in Memphis for a chance to go to state next week.
“You play with more of a sense of urgency in a do-or-die game like this,’’ said MBA Coach Kevin Anglin after the game. “The strength of our team is our balance, and that was the key again (Saturday).’’ Joe Guerre led a balanced MBA attack with 12 points.
The region champ Ensworth girls and boys got byes and move into sectional home games Friday and Saturday respectively.
• In District 11-AAA, the Hillsboro girls beat Brentwood for the third time this season and advance into Tuesday’s final at Brentwood against Ravenwood. The top seed Burro boys (15-9) weren’t as fortunate as, playing without the suspended Arthur McMillan, their leading scorer, lost to Ravenwood 51-39 in their semis game.
• After semis wins Saturday, the Overton and Hunters Lane boys advance to the District 12-AAA championship game Tuesday at McGavock. They split their regular season meetings. The surprising Overton girls upended Antioch and will play Glencliff for the girls title.
• Brentwood High senior Cameron Croy (215 class, DI) and Father Ryan star Wes Wesley 171 class DII) won their third state wrestling championships in a row as the tourney wound up Saturday at Franklin Agricultural Expo Center.
Franklin finished fifth in the DI team competition. Ryan, MBA and Brentwood Academy placed 4-5-6 in the DII tourney.