With the regular season coming to a close later in the week, several teams are keeping a close eye on the district standings to see where they’ll rank come Friday night, when seeds for the district tournament will be finalized.
Not Clarksville and Northeast, though. On Tuesday, the only team they had to watch was across the court from them and, after the Lady Wildcats’ 48-45 victory, their tournament foe had already been decided.
It’ll be a rematch.
That’s right: the Lady Wildcats have locked themselves into the fourth seed while the Lady Eagles are secured at five and in one week, they’ll meet up again as a result of Tuesday’s outcome.
So, what went down to make that happen?
“Some things went against us, but the girls made some great plays,” said Clarksville coach Brian Rush. “I thought we made some great defensive plays in the end. Created some tie-ups, some jump balls, and we got pieces of the ball. We were putting them in brand-new situations at the end, and we’re screaming instructions out from the court because you don’t have enough timeouts and the girls reacted well to that.”
Rush noted that, this late in the season, he needs to trust his girls and felt as though he was rewarded by their payoff against the Lady Eagles. His trust in forward Mya Collins, who went for 19 points, certainly paid off.
Things were close the entire night until the Lady Wildcats built up a double-digit lead late in the third quarter, with their interior defense forcing Northeast to shoot from range as opposed to their preferred slash-and-score method.
The Lady Eagles responded with four three-pointers in the second half – three from Amaya Moore – and converting on several trips to the free throw line. Cierra Bowser made five free throws in the fourth quarter and her teammates added three more, and suddenly NEHS was right back in it.
Clarksville allowed things to remain tight, missing five looks from the stripe down the stretch, but Northeast’s final heave was about a foot-and-a-half to the right of the rim.
“I thought we played in spurts for about 32 minutes,” said Lady Eagles coach Tracie Mason-Blair. “They didn’t quit, they fought back in the end. A few missed shots here, a few missed free throws there, could be the difference in the game. But we’ve still got them one more time and hopefully we’ll beat them when it counts.”
Northeast’s regular season is over, finishing with a 10-6 District 10-AAA record. The Lady Wildcats will wrap up their campaign at home on Friday at 6 p.m. against the Kenwood Lady Knights.
The district tournament matchup date and time between the two will be announced later.
Clarksville (48): Mya Collins 19, Erin Lackey 14, Macy Brown 7, Alexis Wimberly 5, Kate Howard 3.
Northeast (45): Cierra Bowser 15, Amaya Moore 11, Krysonie Mitchell 8, Dajahna Prince 3, Emoni McCray 3, Kahlia Flowers 3, Adryanna Smith 2.