The Fayetteville girls and the Ansted boys were the big winners on the final night of the recent Fayette County Middle School Basketball Tournament. Following is a recap of the title contests:
Meadow Bridge 14
The Fayetteville girls won a defensive struggle against the Wildcats to conclude a solid 15-3 season.
It marked the sixth straight time the FMS girls ended their season with a championship, and the Pirates have captured titles in 11 of the past 14 campaigns.
An 8-2 advantage in the third period proved to be the difference for Fayetteville, which led 16-10 with six minutes to go after Savannah Kincaid’s key 3-point goal toward the end of the quarter. FMS coach Phil Samples called it a “big shot.”
Amaya Grant sank a free throw with 1:10 left to give the Pirates a 17-14 lead. Meadow Bridge then missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer, and the Pirates’ Autumn Hill iced the victory with a charity toss with 0:23 left.
“He (Meadow Bridge coach Charlie Redden) packs in the zone and dares teams to shoot,” said Samples. “That’s not our strong suit.
“Both teams played good defense from the beginning.”
“We did get a good look at a three (at the end),” said Redden, whose team was missing two players from the starting lineup. “We gave good effort.”
He praised the Pirates.
“They’re well-coached and Phil does a good job. They were able to get it inside and get us in foul trouble.”
“I’m proud of the girls,” Redden added. “Not too long ago, we were 5-5.
“We won six straight games to get to the championship.”
Samples said the six-point lead heading into the final quarter allowed him to slow it down some.
“We decided to burn some clock,” he said. “Meadow Bridge had to come out of their 2-3 zone into a 1-2-2 zone to try and get the ball, which allowed us to pass the ball around, getting fouled and getting us to the line 11 times in the fourth quarter. If we could’ve shot better from the free-throw line (FMS was 5-for-20), it would’ve made the game not so close.
“But this team also plays real good defense, holding their county opponents to about 15 points per game. So allowing 14 points was another good night of defense for these young ladies. You try to teach them in November, when practice starts, that all the defensive drills we do will pay off when it’s game time.”
Hill tallied six points to lead FMS. Kincaid added five points, Caroline Fenton had four, and Grant scored three.
Shauna Harless and Savannah Mullins each netted five points to pace the Wildcats (11-6). Taylor Smith and Lillian Claypool chipped in two points apiece.