By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Back on Dec. 29, the unbeaten Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels faced their biggest test of the season.
The established Northpoint Lady Trojans opposed the Lady Rebels in the championship game of the 2018 TRA Christmas Invitational. The Lady Trojans were primed to deliver TRA its first defeat of the season.
The Lady Rebels answered the challenged and survived 42-38 improving to 14-0 overall.
“I told them before the game in that one, ‘We’re playing a good, well-coached team,’” TRA Head Coach Cameron Pridemore said. “And what a well-coached team is going to do is they’re going to take away something. They’re going to take away your first or second options in your offense. It’s going to require for you to make adjustments during the game. And to be able to execute.’ And they did.”
Pridemore said Northpoint tried to seize control of the championship game late in the third quarter. But his girls displayed maturity by overcoming the moment.
“They played kind of a funky defense that we haven’t seen before,” he recalled. “And it make us have to adjust. And we were able to do that. The other thing I thought we did well, they went up maybe 7 late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. They travel well, they had this whole side of the gym filled and loud.
“It was loud and we kind of took that punch,” Pridemore continued. “We responded and handled it. We fought back and we were able to focus. We shot free throws well. We went 12 of 15 and 5 of 6 to end the game.”
With the Northpoint victory in the rearview mirror, the Jackson Christian School Lady Eagles arrived to Rosemark Jan. 3 hoping TRA was in letdown mode. The Lady Rebels disappointed those expectation by overwhelming the Lady Eagles 54-18.
“I was glad to see if from the beginning and it lasted throughout the whole game,” Pridemore said. “It was something we talked about at halftime making sure we would play for a full game. We used it to get better like we would any other time. We were able to work on some different defense and some different things. I was proud of that.”
TRA’s record increased to 15-0 and 3-0 in league play. Brianna Hall led the way with 15 points. Megan Sanfratello added 14 in the winning effort. Abby West contributed 9 points and the duo of Mary Catherine Turner and Eva McIntosh combined for 10 points against JCS.
The rest of January 2019 has been pretty solid for Pridemore’s Lady Rebels. TRA beat Carroll Academy and FACS 75-12 and 60-15 respectively.
Then came a tough game at USJ. The Lady Bruins outlasted TRA 51-44 handing the Lady Rebels their first loss of the season.
Since that game on Jan. 11, the Lady Rebels have been rolling, starting with a 69-34 win over Sacred Heart of Jesus.
TRA went on to beat ECS 57-29 and Fayette Academy 52-44.
This past Friday night in Jackson, the Lady Rebels earned their second victory over JCS winning 51-25 to improve to 21-1 overall.