The Lady Tigers from Ensworth faced a taunting task this week when they took on three-time defending state champions Brentwood Academy.
As they have done all season, this very young team believed in each other, worked hard and upset Brentwood 57-38 to win the Division II AA state championship.
“I think the most important part of the development of our team this year was simple - they continued to work throughout the season and they got better,” said Ensworth Coach Mary Taylor Crowles.
The Lady Tigers were led by Miss Basketball finalist junior Jordyn Cambridge, who scored 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting.
“Winning a state championship means the world to me! I’ve been waiting for this moment since the 8th grade, so winning meant everything to me,” Cambridge said.
The idea that this group of young ladies, Enworth relies heavily on the play of two 8th graders and a freshman, could some into this came and defeat a seasoned Brentwood team seemed improbable at best. But maybe the youth helped. they didn’t know they were supposed to lose.
“I think the basketball season is a long season, but this group continued to work together and continued to work hard to get better.
“Our girls were playing so well at the end of the season and they were so confident,” Crowles continued.
“They understood that the defensive end of the floor was where the game was going to be won and they played some great defense,” she added.
Ensworth held BA to just eight points in the opening quarter, then improved on that, limiting their opponent to just six points in the second quarter to take a 23-14 lead at halftime.
Defense was key once again in the third quarter, as BA could manage just nine points, while Ensworth stretched their lead to a commanding 40-23.
Cambridge and her teammates didn’t slow down in the fourth, outscoring Brentwood 17-15 to secure the win and earn the fourth state championship for Ensworth.
“We had to overcome coming off a rough season the previous year, and used that as motivation to end the season with a victory,” Cambridge said.
As young as they are, the future looks bright for Ensworth’s girls program.
“We are a group that all have a passion for the game of basketball,” Coach Crowles said.
“We want to continue to work together to get better, to get stronger and to compete,” she added.
And what about their leader, Jordyn Cambridge, who will return for her senior season next year?
“I’m looking forward to coming back and building relationships and any newcomers we have, and hopefully win another one!”
Lady Tigers Win State Championship