Not only did the Community R-VI Lady Trojans win back-to-back district championships last week after their win in the finals over Canton, they also picked up their school-record 24th win of the season.
Add in a Central Activities Conference (C.A.C.) regular season crown and a bench depth that a majority of Class 1 teams will never get to experience, this group of Lady Trojans could be on the verge on making a run to the Final Four. (Their state sectional game against Pilot Grove in Sturgeon was played just after press time.)
“This win set the school record for wins, which is now 24, so with that in hand and a conference title under their belt, the only thing left is a deep run in the state playoffs,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis.
In the finals, the Lady Trojans held a slim 24-21 lead at halftime.
While the defense was tough, a big fourth quarter was all the Lady Trojans needed. They scored 26 points in the final frame and pulled away for the 63-46 win.
Taren Clark drew the assignment of guarding Canton’s guard, who is one of the best guards in the state. She shut the Canton player down and did not allow a two-point field goal to her opponent in the game.
“She is one of the glue players on our team,” Curtis noted. “She does the dirty work taking charges, guarding the other teams best player, and understands game plan better than most. As a coach when you scout a team and prepare your squad for a game you want players like Taren who absorb all you teach them and then go and execute in a game.”
Sadie Hoyt was credited for her defense on a much taller Canton player as she won the rebounding battle as well.
Natalie Thomas led the Lady Trojans with 29 points after making 19-of-22 free throws in the game, including 16-of-18 in the fourth quarter.
As a team, the Lady Trojans made 30-of-39 free throws.
“I want to talk about is Natalie Thomas, who most nights see’s a junk defense because of her great scoring ability,” Curtis said. “She faced that tonight and did not get frustrated just found her shots and when the time came to finish them off I knew she would. We put the ball and the game in her hands and she stepped to the line to the tune of 16-18 in the 4th quarter when they had to foul to try and get back in the game. She is a closer, leader, and her basketball IQ gets better every season which makes her one of the best players in the state.”
Beamer only had two points but was dominant yet again with her hard work that has helped her team all season long.
Dalaney Bowers scored 29 points; Deann Brooks had six points; Sadie Hoyt scored six points; Taren Clark had three points; Lauryn Robnett added three points; Delanie Windmann added two points; and Alexis Welch scored two points.
In the semifinals, the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 20-2 first quarter lead and led 43-10 at halftime.
They then put another 20 points on the board in the third quarter before holding beating North Shelby, 77-26.
“The girls have looked incredibly focused and businesslike in the first two rounds of districts,” Curtis said. “We have outscored our opponents 42-2 in the first eight minutes of our first two playoff games. I like our energy and effort as everyone is giving 110% on every play right now. To have six girls around double figures in a big game is special. The girls want to go deep into the state tournament and have had an incredible year. North Shelby has a young team and has a lot of speed at every position. Look for them to really continue to get better under Coach Daniels in the coming years.”
Bowers led the Lady Trojans with 17 points; Beamer had 14 points and eight steals; Brooks had a double-double of 11 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals; Thomas had 10 points and six rebounds; Sadie Hoyt had nine points; Welch scored eight points and five rebounds; Emma Hombs and Emma Angel each had two points; and Windmann had two points.