The Community R-VI Lady Trojans wanted to make the most of their appearance in last week’s 90th Annual New Franklin Tournament.
The players enjoyed looking through a printed booklet of winners showing winning teams going back to 1929.
“We looked through them and discussed when the girls are older and come back to this tourney to watch their kids play they can remember their experience as a player and hopefully see Community next to the 2019 slot and be proud of their high school career,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis.
To get in the book, the Lady Trojans, who entered the game 11-0, needed to get past an 11-0 Pilot Grove squad, which is also likely a new rival in the Central Activities Conference (C.A.C.).
In front of a loud crowd with a sectional-like atmosphere, Curtis’ squad responded with a 25-13 second half stretch to win the championship, 50-34.
The Lady Trojans had 17 assists in the win.
“We shared the ball extremely well in this contest…” Curtis said of his team against Pilot Grove, whom the Lady Trojans will play again on Homecoming. “Once again our depth showed up big in the final 16 minutes as we got into some foul trouble but survived it by getting valuable minutes out of our bench. We pulled away in the final 11 minutes, sparked by a solid defense effort from freshman standout Alexis Welch, who held their best player to just two points in the last quarter and a half. The rematch will be a lot of fun and have a lot at stake in the conference race.”
Community R-VI opened the game up 25-21 and never looked back as their defense held Pilot Grove to nine points or less in three quarters.
The win was the 250th career win for Curtis.
His teams have played in 10 district championships, won two conference titles, he has been named Coach of the Year by Northeast sportswriters and broadcasters, and the EMO Conference multiple years, and is responsible for over 575 wins grades 7-12 in his career.
Community R-VI’s record is now 12-0 on the season.
Natalie Thomas led the Lady Trojans with 16 points; Dalaney Bowers had 10 points; Brianna Beamer scored eight points; while four points were scored by Delanie Windmann, Sadie Hoyt, Emma Angel, and Welch.
In the semifinals, the Lady Trojans’ defense held Sturgeon to just three field goals in the first half.
Meanwhile, Community R-VI made seven three-pointers.
Welch scored a big six points coming off the bench in 2:30 minutes of play.
Beamer’s big three-pointer right before the buzzer at halftime gave the Lady Trojans a 27-12 lead as they never looked back in a 51-27 win.
Thomas made three three-pointers for 21 points and four assists. Bowers had 12 points and two steals; both Beamer and Welch had six points; while Emmi Johnson, Sadie Hoyt, and Johnson scored two points each.
In the first round, the Lady Trojans’ defense shut out Westran in two quarters and cruised to a 61-5 win.
“The girls really executed the scouting report well and made them take contested jumpers or turned them over with our full court pressure defense,” Curtis said. “The Lady Trojans hit the boards well and giving the hornets one shot or less multiple trips.”
Thomas scored 16 points and four assists; Beamer had 12 points; Morgan Bryant scored nine points; Bowers had eight points; Sadie Hoyt had six points and five rebounds; Deann Brooks, Welch, and Angel each had three points; Johnson scored two points; and Windmann added one point.