By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Trinity Christian Academy Lady Lions have roared to the top of Division II-A.
Making the trip down to Rosemark Friday night, the host Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels were roaming around in the Division II-A jungle in search of the Lady Lions. TRA was prepared to challenge the 18-1 TCA squad for superiority in the league.
The Lady Lions led by Head Coach Ken Northcut were on the defense for the first three quarters trailing the Lady Rebels. But TCA seized control of the action and dictated the terms in the final 8 minutes to earn a 64-53 win and improve to 8-0 in Division II-A West Region play.
“In the fourth quarter it was the toughness of a team that really believed in itself,” TRA Head Coach Cedric Anderson said. “Three of their starters are seniors and very strong. So when we had contact, they were able to fight through the contact. We sort of backed away from it. We’ll be ready for them next time.”
The Lady Rebels came into the night with a 14-3 overall record and 6-1 mark in league play. TRA’s only district defeat came courtesy of TCA 68-55 on Dec. 10 in Jackson.
The Lady Lions have bullied the competition entering the showdown in Shelby County winning 16 in a row winning each game by at least 20 points. Jackson Christian went down 74-12 and Fayette Academy suffered an 80-49 defeat to TCA. Before coming to Rosemark, the Lady Lions picked up a 72-43 win over University School of Jackson.
TRA quickly showed TCA this game would be tougher jumping out to a 7-0. The Lady Lions fought back the play of Emma Hannaford, Sally Howell, Olivia Lee and Alyssa Goehring. TCA grabbed the led on a couple occasions in the first half. Then TRA dominated the action in the third quarter behind the play of Raven Sims, Abby West, Brianna Hall and Megan Sanfratello. Other Lady Rebels like Jordan “JoJo” Allen, Eva McIntosh and Cat Turner made timely plays to help TRA hold the lead going into the fourth quarter.
“Conditionwise I thought we were in better shape,” Anderson noted. “I thought that we were prepared. But what started to happen was when they made their run, which a champion is going to make a run, we were looking for a bail out.
“Instead of saying I am going to make the play for my team, our best players have to step up that point,” he concluded. “If you look at the number of attempts during stretch our best players didn’t take those shots.”
With slightly more than 5 minutes left in the game, TRA was ahead 48-47. Then the Lady Lions proved for now they are the queens of the jungle going on a 17-5 run to close out game and remain unbeaten in league play.