Dateline-Monticello, Ga.: For the second consecutive season the Lady Cougars earned a berth in the GISA AA State Basketball Tournament. In this year’s installment, Cottage trekked to Monticello to battle the Lady Cougars of Piedmont Academy. This highly touted team stormed through their Region 1AA tournament en route to securing a number four ranking.
The visitors found themselves subjected to an offensive barrage from the get go. The Lady Cougars (of Monticello) splashed home seven first half three pointers, and hit the offensive boards hard to pour as part of an offensive clinic. Paced by standout guard Marrissa Holder, who nailed 13 points, Piedmont rang up 46 points. After getting blanked for the first eight minutes, TCS found sounder footing in the second stanza. During that time, senior Anika Helm broke free under the hoop to secure her team’s first score, while sophomore Alyssa Briggs found her zone, torching the nets for eight points.
The third frame showed a much more balanced contest, partially as a result of a defensive tweak and renewed commitment to board-work. Over this quarter Helm and Briggs combined for five scores, while surrendering ten. In similar fashion the fourth period witnessed another offensive slow down as Piedmont ground out seven more points, while Ana Mills retaliated with a layup.
Overall, Piedmont demonstrated why they emerged from the regular season as one of the favorites to contend for the state title. For their part, the Lady Cougars gained the opportunity to sharpen their skills against their most formidable opponent of the year. Despite the final margin, the Lady Cougars could take heart in the fact that for most of the game, they were able to set players up for reasonable shots, but on this night the offensive well ran dry.
The players and coaches would like to extend a “thank you” to all of those who encouraged us throughout this long season, and through all of our highs and lows.
The youth movement again provided the bench strength for the night. Finley Love saw action in all four quarters. The offensive doldrums impacted her outside shooting, but Love hit up an offensive board and set a series of wicked screens. Lillian Travis also grabbed an offensive ‘bound, and narrowly missed a three-ball of her own. Julia McCauley took to the hardwoods in the final quarter in the guard spot.
Ana Mills scored the final basket of the season for her team with a fourth frame lay-up. She also stole a ball and hit the boards for 3 defensive rebounds.
Celeste Jeoffroy did not score on the evening, despite some great flashes into the paint. She absolutely excelled on the offensive boards where she attacked errant shots with the intensity of a tigress – claiming 7 boards to go along with 1 defensive carrom.
Alyssa Briggs shook off tough defense to pace the Lady Cougars with 11 points, gained on the strength of two trifectas, a foul shot, and mid-rangers. She also collected 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists.
The squad’s seniors laced up their sneakers for the last time on the hardwoods. Anika Helm scored her team’s first basket of the game, and ended the game with 4 points. She matched that total with 4 rebounds (2 from each end of the court). She also gained an assist on an inbound play. Galya Kysar drew a foul, but the tight rims denied her the points. Mixing it up against a strong and talented frontcourt, Kysar nabbed 8 rebounds to pace her team (3 offensive). She also dished out an assist, and blocked 2 shots.