By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels have endured some tough moments during the 2015-16 season.
Head Coach Keith Cox knew coming into the campaign he would incorporate three eighth graders into in rotations. He also would depend on the on-the-court and off-the-court leadership of seniors Brooke Bridges, Ally Naifeh and Taylor Beasley.
The trio was needed to help a lineup featuring mostly underclassmen as they dealt with the Lauren Moody situation. Their beloved classmate and teammate passed away in late December.
Rivals have paid tribute to the Moody’s memory and courageous battle. Meanwhile the Lady Rebels still have to go onto the court with a majority young team taking on their league schedule.
Last Thursday in the TRA Gymnasium, the Lady Rebels stepped out of league play to take on the Memphis Metro Lady Mustangs. And the Lady Mustangs showed no mercy using a physical game plan to win the game 49-29.
“This has been a season like nothing I’ve ever dealt with before,” Cox said. “I know nothing they would have to deal with again. It’s probably taken it’s toll but people are not going to feel sorry for us. We’ve still have to show up and play.
“We got man-handled tonight,” he continued. “They got into foul trouble but at the same time they can’t call everything. We were rushing shots and just taking bad shots. We ended up not shooting real well.”
TRA played solid defense holding the Lady Mustangs under 50 points. But Memphis Metro was ahead 28-15 at halftime.
The Lady Mustangs played good defense in the third quarter holding TRA to 3 points. Memphis Metro’s advantage grew to 35-18 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rebels scored 11 points in the fourth quarter. Eighth graders Megan Sanfratello and Abby West scored during that stretch.
But the Lady Rebels left a lot of points off the TRA Gymnasium scoreboard throughout the night.
“We have to play better than we did tonight,” Cox said. “You miss as many layup and free throws as we did tonight, it’s hard to beat anybody. We’ve got to play better.”
Now the Lady Rebels return to league play and Cox hopes he gets the effort he saw in a recent game against the district favorites and front runners.
“We’ve had our moments,” he said. “We’ve just got to be more consistent. Tuesday we played a really, really good USJ team. The final score wasn’t pretty but we were down only 7 at the half against them.
“That’s the closest anybody has played them for a half in our district this season,” Cox concluded. “They split with Munford. There only loss was to Munford and then they beat them one time. We can be good. We’ve just have to do it every night.”