Dateline – Roswell, Ga. The Lady Rams of Covenant Christian Academy concluded their three game set of Middle School games against Cottage on Wednesday afternoon. After swiping the first two games, the Lady Cougars were anxious to achieve the sweep as they returned to the hardwoods after their extended vacation.
True to form, eighth grader Finley Love got her team on the board first with steal and finish after a few abortive offensive trips for each side. Unfortunately for TCS, the steal and score did not serve as a harbinger for a first quarter offensive avalanche. In the contrary, tough defense and holiday induced rust consistently short circuited the Cottage offensive attack. Although unable to muster any more points, Cottage sent a defensive message of their own, surrendering a stingy 4 points over the course of the first frame. With their basketball engine now engaged and running, the Cougars charged out of the second quarter gate with 8 more points. Two scores came from fellow sophomores Ana Mills, who powered in drive assisted by Finley Love, and then on a power move by Celeste Jeoffroy, ably assisted by Mills. Love pumped in two more shots including an offensive follow up to give her squad a 10 -6 halftime advantage.
The second half played out as a game of surges. With Love scoring two buckets, the home town team seemed on the verge of pulling away. The Lady Rams countered with three consecutive hoops of their own, pulling to within 2 points as the final period of play commenced. Desperate for offense, Alyssa Briggs checked in and connected on two daring drives to the hoop. Covenant counterpunched with two hoops of their own, all scored by speedy guard S. Hardy. Love put the cherry on top of the evening’s scoring as she connected on her second offensive rebound conversion of the match, helping to secure a narrow 20 – 16 victory.
In this Middle School showcase, it only stands to reason that the three MS stalwarts played the lion’s share of the minutes. Hannah Katz drew the unenviable task of helping to lockdown a tall and offensively minded Covenant Academy frontcourt. Katz came away with 2 rebounds and combined with her counterparts to hold the Covenant frontcourt to only 4 points. Reagan McMillin shared perimeter responsibilities with her backcourt mate Finley Love. McMillin matched up with some of the speedy guards, earning a couple of deflections. Love led the game with 12 points, with 6 of the dozen generated from steals ripped in the backcourt. Love also tallied 7 steals, 1 assist, 2 blocked shots, and 14 rebounds.
Sophomores Lillian Travis and Celeste Jeoffroy rounded out the starting lineup for the contest. Travis boxed her way to a pair of boards, and also helped to execute an effective transition defense. She also squeezed off a couple of sound jumpers, but tight rims conspired against any makes on this night. Jeoffroy scored a basket, stole two passes intended for the post, grabbed two rebounds, and showed no hesitation in dropping to the floor in pursuit of loose balls.
Ana Mills, Emmi Dillehay, and Alyssa Briggs all provided bench relief. Mills played an inspired second quarter, where she seized most of her 6 rebounds, and scored on the before mentioned feed from Love. Her transition defense, and willingness to push the ball, gave the Lady Cougars a needed lift. Additionally, she threw back two shots, gained two steals, and dished for an assist. In limited minutes Dillehay blocked a shot, gathered a rebound, and collected a steal. Briggs made her appearance in the frantic fourth quarter, where she forced the issue on offense, scoring 4 points on daring drives into the paint. She also positioned herself for a rebound, while also thieving herself a steal.