Dateline –LaGrange, Ga. Some of the Lady Cougars mused that the bus ride to LaGrange seemed unfavorably comparable to a transcontinental road trip. The shorthanded road warriors of Cottage skirmished with the Lady Warriors of GISA fame. Taking a page from playbook of early the sixteenth century Creek Nation, LaGrange laid the perfect ambush for their foes.
Cottage actually nailed the first bucket of the game as Brandy Michelle Finnell collected a feed from Natalie Yager and connected on a power move through the paint. The lead proved a short lived one, however, as LaGrange Academy’s point forward Cotton took charge of the offense: filling the nets with 7 quick points, and dishing for several assists, as her team raced out to a 17 – 2 lead. In the second quarter the LaGrange zone continued to gum up the TCS attack, while the Lady Warriors continued to boss the boards. Over the next eight minutes guard McBride took over the scoring burden as she piled in 8 points, pacing her team to a thirty one point halftime bulge.
In the third quarter of play TCS tightened up,stabilizing the rebound disparity, and scoring six points of their own. In the final frame of the evening both team stinkered with their traditional lineups, implemented some different wrinkles,and played a generally even quarter. In the end the hometown Warriors came away with a 41 – 14 win.
In one of the more entertaining moments of the game, sixth grader Finley Love rang up the first basket of her varsity career. The bucket occurred in the third quarter on an in bounds play. With other options covered, Love floated to foul line right extended, receiving a bullet pass from Yager. Love gathered the pass, and uncorked a jumper from 16 feet. The ball exhibited superior rotation and tickled the net as it swished through. This marks the first time since 2012 that a sixth grader scored in a varsity game, when Emma Young last pulled the trick. Love saw action in three of the four quarters, and added 2 rebounds to her stat line.
Brandy Michelle Finnell, and Tracy Li both held down the post positons for the night. Finnell played the entirety of the match leading her team in points (with 6) and in rebounds (with 10). As usual, Finnell did her scoring damage in the paint, and also knocked loose a steal. Li came off the bench, and played significant minutes in all four quarters. She gained a season high 5 rebounds, and 1 nasty blocked shot. Li did not score, but drew iron on all of her shots from the high post.
Julia Baumohl and Emily Daugherty spent the game flipping from frontcourt to backcourt positons. Daugherty nabbed 2 rebounds, 2 steals, tied up several loose balls, and also recorded a rejection of her own, when a Lady Warrior unwisely wheeled to the basket under Daugherty’s watchful eye. Baumohl scored on a classic drop step move in the second quarter, while also securing a rebound, recoding an assist, and gathering in 2 steals.
Maria Knezek, Natalie Yager, and Analin Merchant spent the entirety of their game on the perimeter. Knezek scored 4 points on the strength of a jump shot and two foul shots. She also stole 4 balls and fought her way to 3 rebounds. Yager forced 3 steals of her own, hit the boards 4 times, and spread the ball around for ateam high 4 assists. Merchant did not score in this contest, but was robbed by gremlins guarding the LaGrange rims. In the second quarter, Yager threaded the ball between two defenders, into Merchant’s waiting hands. Taking full advantage of the opening,Merchant squared up with the mid-range jumper. The shot featured the requisite distance and arc, but bounced in and outof the hoop.
The Lady Cougars practice tomorrow, before enjoying a game in the friendly confines of The Cougar Center as they play host to Johnson Ferry.