Dateline – Atlanta, Ga. The Lady Cougars kicked off a week of intense basketball (three games in three nights), with their first ever foray into the gymnasium of the Tapestry Titans. Riding the crest of a five-game win streak, the coaches emphasized the desirability of frequent rotations putting the game away early to allow the team rest for the other games on their dance card.
The opening moments unfolded according to plan as Finley Love struck first on a pass from teammate Sara Tolchinsky. Gabby Pressnall followed with a steal and layup the next play. Shortly thereafter Tolchinsky connected on a field goal of her own. At this point the Lady Titans staged a mini-rally of their own: nailing a three point bomb from the top of the key and adding a conventional bucket. At the close of the first period the visitors hung on to a 10 – 5 lead. The next period saw the Lady Cougars turn the screws on defense, employing an aggressive, gambling set at halfcourt. Tapestry managed only a single free throw over the eight minutes, while five Cottage players jumped into the scoring act, extending the lead to a 22 – 6 bulge. The third quarter saw more of the same as a bevy of steals again allowed TCS to light up the scoreboard with 12 more points, while holding Tapestry to 4. In the final frame, four different Cougars scored, paced by 4 points from sixth grader Grace Workman. The game ended with Cottage snagging a 44 – 12 victory, an undefeated month of January (to date), and a rested starting lineup as the team regrouped to face the rest of the week.
Kendall Betzer came off the bench to snag 6 boards (3 from each end of the court), while also nailing down a power move deep in the paint.
Fellow front court presence Natalie Taylor stepped up with 7 rebounds of her own (2 offensive), while also scoring a second quarter basket.
Eleanor Gaffneystone joined the starting lineup for the first time this season. She made a couple of determined dribble drives, ran the floor well, and also rounded up a steal.
Malia Richards generally shuttled into backcourt duty this evening but hit the boards hard with 4 ‘bounds (evenly divided on both ends of the court. She also connected on a jump shot and recorded her first blocked shot of the season.
Sara Tolchinsky continued her human cruise missile act with relentless defensive coverage from the get-go. She forced 5 steals, pushed the ball around for two assists, struggled for 4 rebounds (2 offensive), and scored 6 points.
Gabby Pressnall recorded baskets in all four quarters, shooting her way to 10 points, to go along with a team high 6 steals, 1 assist, and 5 ‘bounds (1 offensive).
Veteran Finley Love used all of her wiles (a grab and go steal, offensive rebound put back, conventional jumper to name just a few) to also synge the nets for 10 points. She also claimed 3 steals, passed for an assist, and mixed it up for 3 rebounds (1 offensive).
Sixth grader Grace Workman turned in an exciting performance from the bench. Matching her two teammates with 10 points, Grace became the youngest player in the history of the Lady Cougars to break the double digit mark in scoring. Her tally sheet also revealed 4 steals and 3 rebounds (1 offensive).
Fellow Middle Schooler Bonnie Bolton-Hogg also filled up the stat line from the bench. As a beneficiary of a great pass from Love, Bolton-Hogg scored a 2 point basket. Her quick hands gathered 4 steals, she dished for an assist, and also hauled in an eye popping (and team high) 11 rebounds (5 offensive).