Tight defense helps CPA girls tighten 10-AA title race

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 at 11:28pm

Lots of Faith proved enough for victory as Christ Presbyterian moved into a tie for first place in the girls District 10-AA standings.

Avenging an earlier two-point loss at home, CPA managed an intense, hard-fought 32-26 victory at Lipscomb on Tuesday to move to13-1 in the district, 22-5 overall.

Guard Faith Legate scored a game-high 12 points and collected six rebounds for the winners.

“Both teams played so hard, really got after it,” Legate, sophomore daughter of first-year coach Becky Legate, said. “Our goal was just to get better each game.

“This is a big step for us, especially coming over here and winning after they beat us at CPA. I’m looking so forward to the district tournament.”

If CPA defeats Maplewood on Thursday and ML King on Friday, it will clinch a tie for first with Lipscomb (21-3, 14-1), provided the Mustangs win at Hume-Fogg on Friday. That likely will necessitate a coin flip for top seed in the tournament, which opens next week.

Thanks mainly to CPA’s aggressive, sticky man-to-man defense, Lipscomb had difficulty getting any open looks in the frantic, high-paced game, littered with turnovers. For what likely would have been a dismal first in Lipscomb coach Ernie Smith’s long career at Lipscomb, the Mustangs almost didn’t score a field goal the first half.

It took a long 3-pointer by Lauren Cagle at the first half buzzer for the only one they scored. Aside from that, Lipscomb hit four free throws and trailed at intermission 17-7.

“We did a lot of soul-searching right after we lost to Lipscomb earlier, in terms of adjusting our defense,” Becky Legate said. “Not so much what defense we were playing but putting more pressure on the ball. And thankfully, everyone bought into it.”

Lillie Grace Ellenburg’s 3-pointer sliced the CPA lead to 24-19 midway through the fourth period and positioned Lipscomb for a comeback.

But CPA answered with an 8-0 run, propelled by back-to-back 3-pointers by Emily Boyd and Mackenzie Charpentier, followed by a rebound hoop by Boyd.

Charpentier finished with eight points and Lauren Thompson added seven for CPA. Cagle, Ellenburg, Emily Easter and Kelly Smith all scored six points to lead Lipscomb.

“We just got together as a team and basically made up our minds to get better, improve some each day,” Becky Legate said. “And that’s what we’ve done.”

Thursday’s games

BGA at Ensworth
Maplewood at CPA
Hillsboro at Hunters Lane
White House-Heritage at Hillwood
Friday’s games
Father Ryan at McCallie
Hunters Lane at Antioch
McGavock at Cane Ridge
Stratford at East Lit
Glencliff at Hillwood
Lipscomb at Hume-Fogg
MBA at Chatt. Baylor
M.L. King at CPA
Pope JPII at Brentwood Academy
Whites Creek at Pearl-Cohn

State championships

Friday/Saturday in Knoxville