MURFREESBORO — With just two upperclassmen on its roster, Christ Presbyterian Academy was one of the youngest teams in the girls state tournament.
The Lady Lions, who suffered a 47-35 quarterfinal loss to East Nashville, also had the youngest player in eighth-grader Carrington Washburn.
Washburn finished with five points and four rebounds in her state tournament debut, and while the 5-foot-10 forward shot just 2 of 11 from the field, CPA coach Becky LeGate is thrilled about her future.
“The growth that she has had this year has been incredible,” LeGate said. “When we began district play people really tried to take away Kenedi (Hambrick) and Savannah (LeGate), and so she was really able to step up and have some big games.”
Washburn scored 15 points on five 3-pointers in last Saturday’s 47-34 sectional victory over Cheatham County.
One and done: Wilson Central and Elizabethton, two of the four unbeaten teams in the tournament, had posted a combined 66-0 record heading into the week.
Both, however, were sent home with quarterfinal losses on Wednesday and Thursday.
And while two unbeaten teams remain, there will only be one in Saturday’s championships. Middleton (32-0), which rolled to a convincing 62-45 quarterfinal triumph over Harriman on Thursday, and Gibson County (36-0), which escaped with a 70-66 overtime win over Van Buren County, meet in Friday’s 2:45 p.m. semifinal.
Filling it up: Miss Basketball award recipients Jacobi Lynn (McMinn Central) and Lakelyn Bouldin (Van Buren County) enjoyed productive quarterfinal appearances.
Lynn, Miss Basketball in Class AA, finished with a tournament-high 33 points on 11-of-23 shooting. Bouldin, the Class A recipient and a Chattanooga signee, tallied 28 points and tournament-leading 17 rebounds.
Despite Bouldin’s gutsy performance, however, Van Buren County lost 41-31 to unbeaten Gibson County.
In Friday’s Class AA semis, Lynn’s Chargerettes will battle Upperman and Class AA Miss Basketball finalist Akira Levy, who scored 20 of her game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter of the Lady Bees’ 41-35 quarterfinal win over Haywood.
In addition to Lynn, Bouldin and Levy, Wilson Central’s Kendall Spray (21), Pickett County’s Courtney Pritchett (21), Community’s Sarah Pierce (20) and South Greene’s Braelyn Wykle (20) also reached the 20-point mark in their respective quarterfinal games.
Tournament fashion: The Van Buren County vs. Gibson County matchup also featured bold fashion choices.
Van Buren County, making its first state tournament appearance, donned white and maroon polka-dot pants during warmups
Not to be outdone, Gibson County coach Robert Wilkins broke out a bright red blazer.
“If we hadn’t have won it would have been burned tonight,” Wilkins said of his eye-catching coat. “We’ll find another color tomorrow. I just try to support the kids.”
Shooting gallery: Van Buren County and Gibson County combined to make an impressive 17 3-pointers, tying Riverdale and Morristown East for the most made treys in a state tournament game this year.
It took the Eaglettes and Lady Poineers a lot more attempts to get there, however.
While the teams combined to hit 17 3-pointers on 51 attempts, Riverdale and Morristown East needed just 31 attempts, canning 54.8 percent compared to just 33.3 for Van Buren and Gibson.