Lady Lions Fall Short In State Quarterfinals

Photo Courtesy of John WIlkinson

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On Thursday night, the basketball season for area teams ended, as the CPA Lady Lions were topped by East Nashville 47-35 in the Class AA Quarterfinals. Despite having a size advantage in the middle, East Nashville’s quickness proved too much for the Lady Lions. It was CPA’s first loss in the calendar year, coming to one of the few teams in the state with a longer winning streak than them.

The first half was a game of runs, with the Lady Lions getting the first and last of the half. After jumping out to an early lead, CPA allowed East Nashville to get back on top in the middle of the first half. However, CPA was able to mount their own run to close the gap, with Savannah LeGate getting a put back at the buzzer to send the teams into the locker room with CPA trailing 25-24.

After halftime, East Nashville settled into their methodical offense they showed at the end of the first half to slow the game down. CPA’s offense was unable to get anything, even the easy buckets, to fall on their end. The Lady Eagles expanded their lead to nine and would never relent. CPA was unable to get any closer than four points. East Nashville would expand their lead to the final margin with foul shots at the end of the game.

CPA was led by guard Kenedi Hambrick, who finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists for the game. Hambrick would be the only CPA player to score more than 6 points. The Lady Lions’ lone senior Chelsea Burt would add 6 points and 8 rebounds in her final game for CPA. Center Savannah LeGate would add 6 points of her own.

“In the first half, we did a really good job of limiting their extra shots by rebounding,” said CPA coach Becky LeGate. “There was a stretch there where we didn’t shore that up like we needed to. We had a hard time getting our offense going and getting continuity.”

While CPA fell short of their ultimate goal this year, the Lady Lions return all but one of their players next year. With so many returning players and getting a chance to play in the state championship tournament, CPA has the opportunity to return next year. “It’s huge,” explained LeGate. “We are so young. We obviously lose a very valuable member in Chelsea, who is a senior, but just getting here is huge. [Our team] will remember this and it will give us momentum when we’re back and give us more motivation going forward.”

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