Throughout the 2012 season, the Black Mountain Tigerettes weren’t concerned with having the best players, they were more focused on being the best team. The Tigerettes’ unselfish style of basketball was rewarded with a seventh- and eighth-grade championship Tuesday, as they knocked off Cawood 39-30 to cap an undefeated campaign.
“I have won several championships, but I don’t know that I have ever had a group to play as a team as much as this group has,” said Black Mountain coach Glenn Ford. “They played as a team and stuck together. If you look in the box score tonight it was the same thing - it was a team effort.”
Black Mountain jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the first quarter. The Tigerettes trailed by one following a layup by Cawood’s Toni Irvin, but Leah Evans hit a baseline jumper to give the lead back to Black Mountain. The Tigerettes never trailed from that point, and Evans and Makala Pace each closed the period with a basket to push the lead to five.
Bethany Day opened the second quarter with a basket as the lead grew to seven, but Cawood put together a run to close out the period. Four Lady Comets scored during a 10-4 run that saw the deficit reduced to one at halftime.
“I am definately proud of the girls. There weren’t many people that expected us to be in the championship game. They worked hard all year long and pushed themselves,” said Cawood coach Emily Noe. “They are definitely winners to me.”
Black Mountain (16-0) regained control with an impressive defensive effort in the third quarter. The Tigerettes limited Cawood (12-7) to just two points, while Rebecca Middleton scored five of her team-high 11 points in the period as Black Mountain took a 24-16 lead into the fourth.
The Lady Comets put together several comeback bids in the final period, but were unable to get closer than two possessions. A free throw from Chasity Stewart closed the gap to four early in the fourth quarter, but Jesse Johnson and Kaitlin Evans scored on back-to-back possessions to make it 28-20.
Stewart fired in eight of her game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Lady Comets within striking distance. However, Middleton and Jesse Johnson combined to hit seven of eight free throw attempts in the final 37 seconds to maintain the lead.
“They played real well down the stretch.We hit our free throws in the fourth quarter. That salted it away,” Ford said. “I couldn’t be more proud of a team. Any time you go undefeated it is special.”
Sara Napier tossed in 10 points to lift Rosspoint (13-4) to a 34-29 victory over James A. Cawood in the third-place game.
Kaylea Gross powered James A. Cawood (10-8) with 19 points.
BLACK MOUNTAIN (39) - Rebecca Middleton 11, Jesse Johnson 9, Leah Evans 9, Kaitlin Evans 4, Makala Pace 4, Bethany Day 2.
ROSSPOINT (34) - Sara Napier 10, Emily Raleigh 6, Breann Turner 5, Morgan Napier 5, Phebe McHargue 4, Hannah Gaw 2, Taylor Simpson 2.
JAMES A. CAWOOD (29) - Kaylea Gross 19, Savannah Faulkner 9, Katie Walker 1.