By: Lee Ramsey
The Seymour Lady Eagles just completed a fantastic run in the District 2-AAA Tournament only to fall short in the last two minutes of the championship game against the Morristown East Lady Hurricanes. Seymour (18-12) came up short by a score of 53-50.
Back to back 3’s by the Lady Hurricanes and 4 out of 6 missed free throws down the stretch doomed the Lady Eagles and their first IMAC championship.
The good news however is the fact that Seymour will advance to the Region-1 Tournament and host the first game on Friday.
“We didn’t rebound very well or hit our free throws down the stretch like we’ve done,” said Seymour Head Coach Brandi Stallings. “That’s what champions do.”
The Lady Eagles tournament run started with a 75-56 blowout over the Jefferson County Lady Patriots at Seymour.
Seymour was pretty much in control of the game from start to finish. They jumped out to an early 9-5 lead and never looked back as they increased their lead by the end of the first quarter 22-11.
The Lady Patriots did make a late run with four minutes to go in the game cutting the Seymour lead to nine but the Lady Eagles kept their composure and held on with their highest point production of the season.
“I was proud of the girls for holding their composure (late),” said Stallings. “They’re really starting to buy in and play team basketball.”
The Lady Eagles were led by Kasey Norman with a game high 21 points. She was followed by Lexi Justus with 14, Jordan Ballard with 13 and Victoria Nelson with 11. Mariah Flynn followed with eight and Payton King with seven.
In the semi-final game the Lady Eagles took a hard fought defensive game over the Morristown West Lady Trojans 45-38 as the tournament moved to Cherokee High School in Rogersville.
Coming back from a 14-3 deficit the first quarter, the Lady Eagles responded with 15 unanswered points led by Kasey Norman, Mariah Flynn, Jordan Ballard, Victoria Nelson, Lexi Justus and Payton King.
Seymour stormed into the lead at halftime 22-15.
With less than three minutes to go the Lady Eagles took the lead for good 37-36 and after eight free throws they put themselves in the championship game.
“We’re maturing a little bit,” said Stallings, “starting to peak and playing unselfish basketball.
“This is huge for the kids and for the program. They’ve done all the work. They come to practice with a good attitude. They work extremely hard. They listen, they’re attentive, they’re passionate about it and they’ve earned every bit of what they’ve got.”
In the championship game, the Lady Eagles jumped out to a 14-6 early lead but the Lady Hurricanes stormed back to tie the score 22-22.
In the third quarter ME went on a 9-0 scoring run to take the lead 35-26 but the Lady Eagles answered that with their own 11-2 run led by Kasey Norman. That run put Seymour up 39-37 at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Eagle led 49-43.
From that point it was the Lady Hurricanes with the upper hand and the championship as they hit two 3’s and Seymour went cold form the free throw line.
Norman led Seymour with 16 followed by Ballard with 14, Nelson with five, Flynn with four and King with two points.
Lady Eagles Runner-Up in IMAC
By: Lee Ramsey