Evangel Christian’s girls basketball team advanced to the AISA Class AAA semifinals, but the Lions were still no match for Lee-Scott’s depth, talent and experience once they got there.
Lee-Scott (25-3) opened up a 31-19 halftime lead on the way to a 53-39 victory Thursday at Huntingdon where the Warriors substituted liberally in the fourth quarter once they had a commanding lead.
It was Evangel’s sixth loss to Lee-Scott this season. The Lions split two games this season with Glenwood, Lee Scott’s opponent in Saturday’s Class AAA championship game.
“It’s about winning, you never want to lose a ballgame, but I just told our girls that we’ve got a bunch of 10th-graders, we’ll have eight 11th-graders next year, and they played as winners and they didn’t quit,” Evangel Christian coach Mike Creamer said. “There’s no shame in losing to Lee-Scott. They are a program that is well-coached, well-disciplined with a lot of seniors.
“I told our girls to keep their heads up. I don’t want to say there is nothing wrong with finishing second, but as long as you play as hard as you can play for as long as you can play, there’s no losing. Things will come our way before they all graduate.”
Leading Evangel (20-8) in scoring were sophomores Taylor McNeil with 17 points and Jordan Hunter with 13.
Lee-Scott was led by three players in double figures: Hayden Robinson (18), Breanne DeBaets (12) and Madison Prewett (10), who also had 10 assists and five steals. DeBaets also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Lee-Scott was in control early but allowed Evangel to change the game’s momentum in the first half following a technical foul call on senior Ali Rabren. The Lions eventually cut the Warriors’ lead to 22-18.
That was the closest Evangel could come the rest of the game.
“It could have been a key stretch,” Creamer said. “A lot of it is youth. We’re athletic, but we don’t play good man. We have tendency to lose our girls too much, and we gave up a lot of back-door layups. But our athleticism tells us we have to keep working on our man.
“That’s our trademark. When we are playing a weaker team with weaker guard play, it doesn’t show up as much as it does against a Lee-Scott. It is magnified when you’re playing a team that knows where to be at and how to handle it, and it showed up today. During the course of the year, we’ll get better at that and sometimes you just need somebody to expose something before you know how much you need to work on it. I congratulate coach (Chad) Prewett and Lee-Scott on a great season, and we’ll play them again next year and hopefully we’ll have a different result.”
Lee-Scott advances to play Glenwood, a 52-25 winner earlier Thursday over Hooper Academy, in the Class AAA girls championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Hooper Academy 25
Things didn’t look so bad for Hooper Academy at halftime.
The Colts withstood Glenwood’s pressure and kept the Gators’ lead under double digits at 30-21.
However, the Colts suffered through a lengthy scoring drought of more than 12 minutes.
Hooper Academy failed to score the entire third period as Glenwood opened up a 40-21 lead.
The Colts didn’t score their first point of the second half until 3:56 remained in the fourth quarter when senior center Abby Brown made a layup. Hooper scored four points in the second half.
Sophomore guard Tamera McClain led Glenwood (26-4) with a game-high 26 points. Hooper was led by sophomore Morgan Maxwell, who finished with 11 points, all in the first half.
The Colts finished their season at 17-14.