MS Girls

For the third time in just the last six days, the Westover Christian Academy Middle School girls' basketball team took to the floor, this time in the VACA South Region Championship game (Saturday, Feb. 10). Their opponent would be the Ospreys of Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy. The Ospreys would enter the contest sporting a record of 15-0 on the season which included a 21-8 win over the Bulldogs back on December 1. This time around, however, the Bulldogs would demonstrate their patented team spirit, fight, and determination to make this contest one for the record books. The game would start a bit slow before both teams would trade two made 3-point shots and then subsequently the lead back and forth throughout the first quarter before the Ospreys would hold a slim 9-8 advantage after one. The second quarter would once again see the two combatants trade the lead back and forth.

 The Bulldogs would be paced by Paige Johnson who had 6 of her 8 points in the second frame to help Westover head into halftime tied at 16 with SMLCA. The third quarter would prove to be pivotal, as the Bulldogs would battle major foul trouble do both of their captains and would also struggle offensively to the tune of just 2 points while surrendering 10 to the Ospreys who entered the final stanza up 26-18. As they have done over their last 4 games, the 4th quarter would belong to the Bulldogs as they continued to fight and claw their way back into the game. 

The quarter would start out exceptionally well for WCA with a basket from Madison McKinley and two made free throws by Paige Johnson would pull the Bulldogs to within 4 points to start the quarter. The two made free throws would come courtesy of one of the many raucous Osprey fans who was ejected due to derogatory comments made to an official and therefore gave WCA the opportunity for two free throws and the ball. The Bulldogs would crank up the defensive pressure in an effort to force turnovers and give themselves a chance to gain ground against the mighty Ospreys. Unfortunately, Westover would struggle to secure some all-important defensive rebounds and the Ospreys would capitalize with several close in shots to push the lead back up again.

 However, the Bulldogs would not go away as Bella Hill, who was battling a nasty hand injury, would come up huge in the frame scoring 6 of her team high 10 points during the quarter on 3 made free throws and a 3-point shot. SMLCA would then push the lead back up to 7 points with just under 20 seconds to play. WCA would race down the court desperate to make the score closer. The Ospreys would deflect the ball out of bounds forcing the Bulldogs to inbound the ball from the side. Bella Hill would throw the ball to Allana Plummer who swished her second 3 of the game to pull the Bulldogs within 4 with only 6 seconds remaining. Westover would burn its final timeout to stop the clock and set their defense. The only hope for the cardiac Lady Bulldogs was a steal, a made three, and a foul. While a tall order, the lady Bulldogs gave it their best effort. However, this time around WCA would be unable to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. The Ospreys were able to inbound the ball and run off the remaining time on the clock and complete their perfect season at 16-0. With the loss, WCA closes out its season at 10-5. WCA was led in scoring by Bella Hill who had 10 points and 2 assists. Paige Johnson had 8 points and 6 rebounds while Allana Plummer had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Kylee Chromy had 5 points and Madison McKinley chipped in with 2 points. 

Coach Reynolds after the game said:

"Throughout their three playoff games the Lady Bulldogs showed a level of determination and perseverance rarely seen in today's athletes. They came back from deficits in each of their playoff wins including coming back from down 5 with under one minute to play on Monday against FCS. One stat that outlines just what kind of ride the girls went on this week, our point differential for the three games played this week was 0. With two 2 points wins and a 4-point loss we scored and allowed the exact same number of points this week. These girls played their guts out and left everything on the court today and all week. They have a tremendous amount to be proud of."

"I told the team in the locker room after the game, that I couldn't be prouder of a group of young ladies. The way that they fought and competed throughout this season was so encouraging to watch. I view basketball as simply a tool to help push young people to be more like Christ. I don't coach for mere wins and losses; those will be forgotten sooner rather than later. I coach because I believe it to be a calling on my life to have an impact on the lives of young people. These girls this season have had such an awesome team spirit and are as close of a group of teammates as I've ever had the privilege to coach. I will truly miss these wonderful young ladies."