by Mike Hastings
BSW Staff Writer
The Christ Presbyterian Academy Lady Lions continued their march to perfection this week, winning the District 12 AA title with two impressive victories this week.
On Friday, CPA faced off against the 6-18 Cascade Champions. Both teams seemed a little sluggish to begin the game, but the Lady Lions were able to seize the lead 17-10 at the end of the first quarter.
“We had a bye and didn’t play in the first round and were a little rusty,” explained CPA Coach Becky LeGate.
The Lady Lions turned to a stifling defense in the second quarter, holding the Champions to just 5 points and extended their lead to 29-15 at the half.
Tournament MVP Isabella Franco led the charge to start the second half.
“Izzy shot the ball very well in both games,” Legate said.. “I was pleased with everyone’s effort. The other team would key on our hot player and that would set up opportunities for someone else,” the coach said.
CPA outscored Cascade 23-9 in the third to take a commanding 52-24 lead into the fourth quarter and just hang on from there to advance to the championship game.
There they faced a very tough and physical team in the 18-6 Bobcats from Giles County High School.
“I’m very proud of our girls. We worked hard all week making adjustments to get tougher emotionally and physically,” Coach LeGate said.
CPA suffered a big setback on Friday when Carley Sidberry was injured against Cascade and didn’t suit up against Giles. That left LeGate with a seven-player rotation instead of the usual eight, and took away a size advantage they normally enjoy.
The Bobcats were able to stay with CPA. The teams played tough defense. The Lady Lions grabbed a narrow 9-8 lead after the first quarter.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as neither team could mount a run. Still CPA was able to outscored Giles 16-13 in the period and take a 25-21 lead at the half.
“I was so impressed with our team’s focus,” LeGate said. “As the year has gone on, they’ve learned to rely on each other. They’re not hung up on who does what, and that makes us powerful.”
The Lady Lions used that power to extend their lead in the third quarter.. Isabella Franco continued her hot shooting and Savannah LeGate and Adela Franco started to take control under the basket.
CPA outscored Giles 16-11 in the third to take a 41-32 lead into the final quarter.
But the Bobcats refused to go away without a fight. They had their best quarter of the game in the fourth, managing to outscore CPA 21-19. That was not enough to overcome the Lady Lions’ lead, however, and CPA walked away with the district title.
“They have really developed grit - a feisty persona - and that has grown as we go on,” Coach LeGate said. They will hope to use that to its full advantage when the regional tournament begins Monday at CPA.
MVP Isabella Franco scored 22 points against Cascade and 20 more against Giles to lead the Lady Lions.
Kenedi Hambrick scored 11 points in the first game and 9 more in the second, while Savannah LeGate scored 16 points against Giles and 9 against Cascade. Adela Franco added 6 points against Cascade and 13 more against Giles.
Lady Lions Crowned District Champs
Isabella Franco drives against Spring Hill
Lady Lions Keep Perfect Season Alive
Isabella Franco had a terrific week on the court, leading the Lady Lions of Christ Presbyterian Academy to two victories, improving their record to 22-0.
CPA beat Spring Hill Tuesday 69-55 and then bested a tough Giles County High School team 43-39 Friday night.
The Lady Lions jumped on Spring Hill early. As has been the case lately, CPA was near flawless in the first quarter, ceasing a 27-16 lead.
Spring Hill came back in the second period outscoring the Lions 20-15 and narrowing the lead to 42-36 going into halftime.
Things got even tougher for CPA in the third. Spring Hill clamped down defensively, holding the Lady Lions to only 8 points to trail by the slimmest of margins, 50-49 going into the final quarter.
That’s when the Lady Lions hit the gas. Led by Franco, who finished with a game-high 28 points, CPA pulled away, outscoring Spring Hill 19-6 in the final quarter.
Kenedi Hambrick finished with 15 points for CPA. Adela Franco had 14 points and Savannah LeGate added 8 points for the Lions.
Friday’s contest against Giles County was more of a defensive struggle.
Neither team could get into double figures in the first quarter. CPA could only manage 6 points, but that was twice as many as Giles could manage.
The second quarter was better for the Lady Lions, but not so much for Giles County, who came into this game with a 15-5 record. The score at the half was 19-12 with CPA on top.
The third period was back and forth, with neither team able to make a sustained run. The Lions held their 7-point lead 35-28.
Giles threatened in the fourth, narrowing the lead to just two baskets, but CPA held on for a 43-39 win.
Isabella Franco was top scorer again with 11 points, while Savannah LeGate added 10 points.
Savannah LeGate and Isabella Franco battle under the basket
Chelsea Burt shoots a jump hook
Chelsea Burt goes up for two
The Christ Presbyterian Lady Lions won three more games this week to keep their record perfect at 20-0.
The Lions started the week on Tuesday with a game against the Marshall County Tigers.
CPA employed a deadly combination of inside power, speed and outside shooting to whip the Tigers 78-33.
“We have so many weapons,” Lions coach Becky LeGate said.
“It really helps when you have six or seven girls who can score.
Center Savannah LeGate was a force in the first half. Playing strong defense, she continually caused the Tigers to alter their shots.
On offense LeGate grabbed inside feeds from her teammates for easy lay-ins, or gobbled up offensive rebounds off missed shots.
When LeGate rested, Chelsea Burt and Kenedi Hambrick used their speed and ball control to continue the offensive.
The Lions scored 34 points in the first quarter and 25 more in the second to take a 59-16 lead at the half.
In the third period, the onslaught continued. The Lady Lions stretched the lead to 50 points, 74-24.
The fourth quarter was all about ball control and ended with the Lions on top 78-33.
On Friday, the Lions defeated Cascade 62-34.
Kenedi Hambrick had a big game, scoring 20 points. Chelsea Burt added 10 more points.
Saturday proved to be the toughest match of the week as the Lions squared off against the Ensworth Tigers.
Jordyn Cambridge was absolutely fantastic for the Tigers, scoring 30 of Ensworth’s 40 points.
She kept the Tigers in the game all night. CPA had a slim 12-11 lead after the first period, but fell behind by halftime, 25-24.
Coach LeGate was able to use a number of combinations in the second half.
“We worked to our strengths,” she said. The Lions were able to control the boards in the second half and somewhat contain Cambridge and pull away for a 56-40 victory.
The team looked like a championship caliber group in the second half.
“We have all the pieces,” LeGate said.
Savannah Legate led the Lions with 22 points. Hambrick added 18 more points and Adela Franco chipped in 10 points.
The Lions take on Spring Hill Tuesday.
Lady Lions Stay Perfect, Move to 20-0
Caitlin Nichols battles for a rebound
The Christ Presbyterian Lady Lions continued their winning ways after the holidays, improving their record to 13-0.
The Lions started the week with an impressive win against Cascade 62-29. They were back at it Friday night and ran away from Spring Hill on the way to a 69-38 victory. Cascade had no answers against CPA.
The Lions dominated the Champions from start to finish, holding them to less than 10 points in every quarter.
Using a balanced attack that saw four Lady Lions score in double figures, CPA jumped out to a 23-8 first quarter lead and built on it every period. Kenedi Hambrick scored 15 points to lead the Lions.
Adela Franco and Carley Sidberry each added 12 points.
It was more of the same when CPA faced off against Spring Hill Savannah LeGate had a great game against the Raiders, scoring 22 points to lead her team.
After a tight first quarter that ended with the Lions ahead 21-16, CPA clamped down on the Raiders, outscoring them 35-11 in the second and third periods.
The teams played even in the fourth, but the outcome was decided by then. Isabelle Franco and Kenedi Hambrick each scored 13 points for the Lions. Carley Sidberry added 6 points and Addie Russell-Omer chipped in 5 points.
CPA Lady Lions Stay Undefeated
The Christ Presbyterian Lions won two games over the weekend to improve their perfect record to 8-0.
On Friday night, the Lady Lions beat Christian Academy of Knoxville 55-49.
“CAK is a very good team,” said Lion Coach Becky LeGate.
“They have a couple players already commited to Kansas State, one of which is 6’6”. We played probably the best half of the season in the first half and we held on,” she said
Isabelle Franco led the way with 16 points in a balanced Lion attack.
“What I love about this team is there are 7 or 8 different players who can lead us in scoring,” said LeGate.
“That makes it very hard for other teams to defend us,” she added/
Adele Franco added 10 points, while Chelsea Burts and Kenedi Hambrick each scored 7 points.
Savannah LeGate scored 6 points for CPA and Addie Russell-Omer added 5 points. Caitlin Nichols wrapped up the scoring with 4 points.
Saturday’s contest against Columbia Academy was a little easier for the Lions.
It was again Isabelle Franco leading the way, scoring 16 points as CPA won 62-31.
Adele Franco scored 11 points in this game for CPA, while Savannah LeGate reached double figures, scoring 10 points.
Kenedi Hambrick was also in double figures, scoring 10 points, while Chelsea Burts added 7 points.
Addie Russell-Omer finished the scoring with 6 points for the Lions.
Lady Lions Win Two Tough Games This Week
CPA Girls Basketball