By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The week of November 27 presented a challenge for Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebel Head Coach Cameron Pridemore’s team.
Taking on the likes of Westminster, Millington and Rossville in a four-day stretch, the Lady Rebels were going to be the favorites in each game. Not too long ago, TRA would have been the underdogs.
Lady Rebel senior guard Brittany Hall remembers those days. That’s why Hall is truly grateful after a victory over Westminster Monday night and a 68-21 win Tuesday over the rival Millington Lady Trojans in the William Osteen Gymnasium.
“Like a lot of people say, we have a lot of young talent,” she said. “We’re doing really well. We have a lot of energy on the floor and we’re winning a lot of games we’re supposed to. So it feels good these days to be a Lady Rebel.”
When Hall was the freshman and sophomore on the roster, she endured some tough times and moments of growth within the program. Last season Pridemore took over the Lady Rebels and the roster grew with underclassmen like Megan Sanfratello, Abby West, Jordan Allen, Mary Catherine Turner, Sarah Allyn Thornell, Eva McIntosh, Anna Redman and Brittany’s sister Brianna Hall.
“We’re more focused and we have more energy,” the elder Hall noted. “Back when we were the losing team, we would get down a lot. Now, as we mature, we’re starting to click and build a winning mentality. We don’t give up as easily.”
The Lady Rebels’ intensity was on display against Millington though their defense. The TRA pressure caused several turnovers leading to a 22-7 lead after 8 minutes. Hall started the offensive output with a bucket.
Then Hall located teammates like Allen in the post for baskets. The connection led to a Allen three-point play making the score 7-2.
TRA went ahead by 10 points after Brianna scored a pair of buckets and Sanfratello made a shot in the lane to make the tally 13-3.
The advantage was 41-13 at the break. Some of the highlights in the second quarter was a Brianna Hall steal and drive to the rim for two and a Sanfratello three-point play that made the score 37-13. Brittany made the final basket of the first half to make the score 41-13.
Hall continued her solid shooting with a pair of buckets early in the third quarter. TRA outscored Millington 17-4 in the third period to go ahead 58-17.
“It easy for us to level-down to the competition,” Hall said. “But we’ve done a good job this week of getting our energy up, keeping our energy up and keeping our focus up. We’ve done a good job of being us, staying the same team.”
Before Hall joined her classmates to root on the Rebels in the boys game, she took a moment to reflect on her Lady Rebel Basketball tenure. Fighting back tears, the soccer standout, member of the TRA 30-Plus Club and award-winning student realized how much the basketball portion of her high school career means.
“Don’t take it for granted that’s what I would say to the younger girls,” she concluded. “I’ve been playing for a really long time and it’s starting to come to an end. It’s been a really good experience. And I know once it ends, it’s going to be really sad. I’m going to miss all these girls and the girls I’ve played with.”