Defense Wins Championships Says 17-0 South Team
J. C. Tilton
Defense wins championships is a sports adage that has been around for a long time. The TVS 7th grade girls applied this during their regular season allowing an average of only 14 points per game. They carried an impressive 14-0 record into the CCC junior high tournament, where they won 3 more times. At the other end of the court, the team averaged 34 points on offense.
The championship game was against the Bethel Bee's a team whose only blemish on their record was a 28-21 loss to the Panthers earlier in the season. They were looking to avenge that earlier loss and perhaps get the trophy for themselves. Bethel got on the board first with a three point shot. But South pinned them at 3 and scored the next 10 points. With a minute left Bethel connected on another basket and the first quarter ended with South up 10-5.
South used a man to man half court defense and a press against the Bee's. The Bee's stayed in a zone and occasionally employed a half court trap against the Panthers. In the second half the Panthers played some zone to save their legs. South continued to outpace the Bee's in the second quarter and had a nice 17-9 lead at the half.
In the third quarter the defense really clamped down. South did not allow a basket until a three point shot dropped for Bethel with about a minute left. On offense Tayler Creech was making shots in the red zone. She knocked down 8 of her game high 20 points in this quarter. Bethel took a time out midway thru the quarter to try and shift momentum. But South was unrelenting and blew the game open with a 12 point quarter.
Bethel was down by 17 and had no answers going into the last period. South kept a lid on the basket only allowing 4 points to be scored late in the quarter. They slowed down their offense and when the buzzer sounded the Panthers completed their perfect season with a 36-16 victory.
Going into the championship game against Bethel, Coach Mabry instructed the girls to allow less than 20 points. They responded by allowing just 16 points. An outstanding defensive performance. He added that it was a great team to coach, the girls all worked and contributed. He did admit that sometimes he had long days. This was the result of doing double duty this winter as he also coaching the 8th grade girls.
Scoring for the Panthers: Katie Bingham 2, Laura Ingram 2, Adelee Gates 8, Sarah Philpot 4, Tayler Creech 20.
Also playing: Ciera Mackie, Kaitlin Waldren, Brianna Wiegand, Kim Perry, Olivia Glander, Codie Pinkerton, Emily Burge. Comments: email: Chris Tilton