By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The 2019-20 Trinity Christian Academy Lady Lions were able to win the Division II-A State championship before the world shutdown back in March.
But before COVID-19 placed fear into our hearts and made many sick, the Lady Lions had one team that was a thorn in their side — the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels. The crew led by Cedric Anderson was the one team that played Trinity tough each game.
Despite good games, solid game plans and maximum effort the Lady Rebels couldn’t capture that elusive win over their league rivals.
Fast forward to Dec. 8 and the home opener for the 2020-21 TRA Lady Rebels. On the docket were those pesky Lady Lions. The new-look Lady Rebels were primed for the test and jumped out 18-2 before prevailing 54-26.
“We’re very thankful for the win against a very quality program,” Anderson said. “They’re well coached, great tradition and very high expectations. We got them early and we know we can’t rest on that. The next time they’re going to be ready. They’re going to be a better team, 10 to 15 games better. They will be a better team.”
The Lady Lions graduated a ton of talent off the State championship squad. But Anderson knew coming into the game his team needed to make a statement and build confidence for down the road.
TRA was led by a variety of players like Mary “Cat” Catherine Turner, Jordan Allen, Eyse Warren, Sarah Allen Thornell and Brianna Hall. The Lady Rebels build a sizable advantage using various methods.
Pressure defense created turnovers leading to easy baskets. TRA used it’s halfcourt set to find open three-pointer shooters like Thornell. Hall and fellow backcourt mate Raven Sims used the dribble-drive for layups or to hit open teammates cutting to the basket.
“Raven Sims is doing a good job,” Anderson noted. “We’re putting a lot on her as a point guard with more leadership responsibilities. She’s doing a good job. A new player to come in tonight and play her first game, Eyse Warren. She was a little anxious tonight and go into foul trouble, but her energy level and her strength is there. We’re going to need that down the stretch.”
Warren made her presence felt with drives to the basket and intense defense. Anderson mixed in a few more pieces throughout the game to secure the first win over Trinity Christian in a long time.
“We can’t rest on one win,” he said. “We have to go back and remember that they dominated us last year. They beat us and ended our season last year.
“They beat us in the State Semifinals, the Regional championship,” Anderson concluded. “We have to keep that to keep that edge so the next time we come and play them we’ll play them even harder.”