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Twice Perfect - South Junior High Wins Championship
J. C. Tilton

Not only are the South 8th grade girls winners of back to back championships, they did this with out losing a game over their junior high careers. They repeated what they did as seventh graders under the same coach - Glen Mabry. Winning back to back championships is not easy for any team in any sport and doing it without losing a game in both seasons is a feat worth noting.

The Panthers easy beat National Trail in the semi finals. Then they met a small but determined Bradford team in the finals. The RailRoaders had but six girls on the team and besides being outnumbers by the 12 strong South team, they were outsized as well. South came out with a roar scoring the first 9 points of the game. But Bradford showed that they came to play and closed out the first quarter with a run of their own. South was up at the end of the quarter, but only by 4.

Defensively, South used a half court zone defense and also pressed in the first half. Bradford used a half court zone and did use a half court trap some in the second quarter. The stubborn RailRoaders stayed with South in the first half and at the end of the half it was still a 4 point ball game with South up 23-19.

In the second half, South went to a 1-3-1 zone and called off their press. This zone was effective as Bradford did not seem to have an answer for it. They would only score 5 points in the quarter. On the other hand, South made the most of their opportunities and ran up a 15 point lead. In the final quarter, they stifled a tired Bradford team and ran the court offensively to pull ahead for a 51-29 win.

Coach Mabry was asked what made the difference in the game, “We knocked down our shots and switched up zones in the second half. We went to a 1-3-1, we wanted to make sure that their guards did not penetrate. I knew we could score, but we just had to stop them from scoring. I was a little upset at halftime with my team. We normally give up about 15 points a game and we gave up 19 at halftime. We got some easy buckets because we were trying to run the ball. They only had 6 girls and we have team speed, so I wanted to push, push, push the whole game.”

About the team, “They pass the ball well and are very unselfish. It's been a pleasure to coach them for two years. A lot of time with junior high players sometimes you don't know what you are going to get on a nightly basis. But they have come out for 2 straight years and played hard and worked hard in practice every day. Not only a good group of girls basketball wise, but personality, with families, at school, their grades, everything -has just been exceptional. I hope they continue to work hard and stay after it.”

Scoring for the Panthers; Brianna Weigand 2, Kim Perry 6, Katie Bingham 5, Laura Ingram 4, Adelee Gates 3, Sara Philpot 11, Tayler Creech 20. Also playing for the Panthers: Emily Burge, Codie Pinkerton, Taylor Baker, Adria Kersey, Kaitlyn Waldren.

email: Chris Tilton


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