By Will Willems
The only two remaining unbeatens in the Sagamore Conference met Friday night in girls basketball.
And in the end, the two-time defending conference champions showed that they aren’t ready to give up their conference crown. Class 3A No. 4 Lebanon earned at least a share of the Sagamore Conference title with a 54-39 win.
“It is good to come out with the win,” Lebanon head coach Beth DeVinney said. “You can’t say enough about North Montgomery, Kelsi Byrd does so much for them. Looking at their match-up with us, we knew they had great shooters and we were going to have to get some things done defensively closing out on people. We really doubled up on Kelsi trying to keep her out of the lane. I thought we did a great job of that early.”
The Tigers came out on fire defensively in the first quarter.
Lebanon forced 11 North Montgomery turnovers and led 18-8 after eight minutes.
“Our pressure early in the game was really good,” DeVinney said. “I thought we took a few plays off in the third quarter, and it cost us a little bit. Our focus was on Kelsi early, to keep her out of the lane. She is such a great slasher, gets to the lane, hang a little bit and hangs off. And the kids down low have done a good job finishing.”
The Tigers appeared firmly in control of the game through the second quarter, leading by as many at 17 points before holding the 29-14 advantage at the intermission.
But the Chargers slowly began to chip into the lead getting within six on two occasions, the last being with 5:45 left in the game on a 3-pointer by Byrd.
But Aspen Davis hit two free throws and then a 3-pointer of her own to spark a 11-2 Lebanon run to close the game.
For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.