By Thomas Sellers Jr.
And the illness bug hit the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels last week with point guard Virginia Moore. But Head Coach Shari Armour wasn’t too alarmed checking out the schedule.
“Virginia Moore was out sick,” she noted after beating Bishop Byrne 57-26 on Dec. 11. “I could really tell we were missing Moore on the floor tonight just because of her experience from last year.
“We had new people bringing the ball down,” Armour added. “It was good for this game because we were able to use different people and to get more experience out there.”
Armour put the ball into the hands of guards like Brooke Bridges and Taylor Beasley to join forces with Bethany Berger. The trio raced the ball up and down the Bishop Byrne Gymnasium to overcome the absence of Moore and locked down a win before taking on the rest of the week.
“(Moore) was wanting to come,” Armour said. “I told her to stay home and rest. We have a district game Thursday and we play Memphis Catholic Friday. So we have a busy week ahead. I rather her be rested up for those two games.”
Moore’s teammates took care of business against the Lady Red Knights. In the first quarter Berger assumed her role as primary ballhandler.
The sophomore guard located Beasley for a three-pointer that made the score 12-3 midway through the opening quarter. TRA went ahead 16-5 when Berger located Beasley on the break for a layup. The Lady Rebels were ahead 16-7 heading into the second quarter.
Berger made the lead double digits for good early in the second quarter with a layup. Then Beasley took over at the point guard spot. The young guard brought the ball up the floor and repaid the favor to Berger with a pass. Berger made the shot and drew a foul for a three-point play.
The TRA 23-7 lead ended up a 30-12 halftime score. The Lady Rebels were led by Beasley most of the second quarter at point.
“I like it,” Beasley said of running point. “It gives me an opportunity to prepare for next year. I’m trying to get better at everything.”
It was Bridges turn to get better in the third quarter. She shared time with Berger running point. The duo helped TRA score 17 points in the quarter to build a 47-18 lead.
“They’re really stepping up and doing a great job of handling the ball and taking shots,” Armour said of Bridges and Beasley. “We’ve just got to keep working. Bridges has to work on getting her head up and seeing the floor. Beasley has to learn to take her shot and be repetitive on it.”
The freshman Bridges had a couple of turnovers and fouls in the second half. But she did make some steals leading to fast breaks.
“We’re really good at our 2-1 press,” Beasley said. “I love layups. We always get two people down there every time for layups. I love our press.”
Bridges, Beasley and Berger all benefited from the steal scoring uncontested points on the other end. When the Lady Rebels ran their offensive sets, players like Aubra Bibb, Brooklyn Simpson and Bayleigh Nale had a chance to contribute. Nale hit two shots in the paint late in the fourth quarter that made the score 55-25.
And it was a Beasley steal leading to a Bridges layup that concluded the scoring for the night.
“We put up a lot of shots, we boxed out well and we put a lot of our missed shots back up,” Beasley said were the keys to success.
Armour said she was happy with her team’s effort without Moore, and them trying to reach her pre-game shot goal.
“I was very satisfied for tonight,” she concluded. “We didn’t meet our quota for the night. But we were close. We’ll just keep taking that one step at a time and hopefully our puzzle pieces will fit together.”