Dateline – Roswell, Ga: Covenant Christian Academy and the Lady Cougars renewed their budding Middle School rivalry as the Cumming based Rams looked to avenge a pre-Thanksgiving loss on their home court. The Lady Cougars needed to shake off a slow start before finding their formula for victory.
First quarter action featured frantic play, absolutely unforgiving rims, turnovers, and big defensive stops for both squads. What the game lacked in offensive fluency, it made up for in intensity and defensive grit. TCS found themselves absolutely shut out of any scoring action, but fortunately their defense rose to the occasion, surrendering only a miserly 2 points.
The buckets began to flow with a little more frequency in the second, as eighth grader Finley Love broke the ice by scoring on an offensive rebound. Starting center Celeste Jeoffroy added a post move on a deft pass from reserve Ana Mills. For her part Mills pumped in three buckets of her own in the second stanza, propelling her team to a 10 – 4 halftime edge.
The halftime respite seemed to work to the visitor’s advantage. The opportunity to rest, and to reconfigure their offensive look payed off as Covenant spread the floor and scored with four different players in third quarter action. On the other side of the court, Cottage enjoyed a number of great looks at the basket, only to see many of them bounce out of the rim. Love, Mills, and reserve Alyssa Briggs all made field goals to hold back large scale encroachment on the Cottage lead. Love converted on another rebound and put back, Mills scored in the open court after forcing a steal, and Briggs canned a tough shot in the flow of the halfcourt offense.
The final period of play witnessed Cottage open the floodgates and put the contest away. Five players got into the scoring act, combining for 14 total fourth quarter points, while commitment to the man to man defensive scheme ground the visitors offensive machine to a near standstill. As the final horn sounded, the scoreboard revealed a 30 – 14 victory for the home town Lady Cougars.
The Middle School contingent clearly enjoyed the spotlight, as they all claimed starting roles.Reagan McMillin showed important growth in the man defense as she locked down on her opponents, with or without the basketball. McMillin deflected a couple of passes, and also gained a steal. Hannah Katz grabbed 2 offensive rebounds, spent time guarding hefty post players, as well as speedy guards, while also connecting on a jump shot for 2 points, courtesy of an assist by Jeoffroy. Finely Love chipped in an exceptionally well rounded game: she led the game in rebounds with 14, including 6 from under the offensive basket. Love also poked the ball away 8 times, and matched that total with 8 points.
Fellow teammates Lillian Travis and Celeste Jeoffroy helped to round out the starting lineup. From her perch in the low post, Jeoffroy banged the boards for 4 ‘bounds, scored 2 points , earned a steal, and passed for an assist. Travis banked home a jump shot in fourth quarter action, while also ball hawking her way to 3 steals.
On this night Ana Mills earned sixth man honors as she gave her team a badly needed offensive lift. Mills scored a game high 10 points, 6 of them to break the offensive drought that plagued the Cougars during the early first half. To prove that she was not a one dimensional scorer, Mills gained an assist, hauled down 3 rebounds, stole 6 balls, and accounted for all 2 of her team’s blocked shots. Emmi Dillehay provided stability on the boards and served as an anchor for the defense. She fought her way to 6 rebounds (3 on each end of the court), and forced 2 steals. In limited playing time, Alyssa Briggs grabbed a rebound, dished out an assist, thieved 3 basketballs, and scored 6 points of her own.
On Thursday night both the MS and the HS squads will play host to Sugar Hill Christian Academy as the December home stand continues.