The Seymour Lady Eagles were back on their home floor on Wednesday, March 1, where they brought home their second straight 3A Region 2 championship with a 51-32 win over Knoxville Halls.
Bailey McCoy led the scoring effort with 13 points, followed by Jaden Cummings with 11. Caiden Russell and Brielle Turner would round out the scoring effort with 8 and 7 points respectively.
The Lady Eagles would start the game with a dominant effort inside, as Bailey McCoy, Cummings, Turner, and Kaylen Shultz would all convert on tough shots inside, holding onto a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Russell would split a pair of free throws early in the second quarter to extend the Lady Eagles’ lead to 10-8. However, both teams would go cold until 5:13 left in the quarter when Kelsey Cruz knocked down a three to extend the lead to 13-8. Chloe McCoy would knock down a free throw to make things 14-8.
However, Halls would continue to chip away at the Seymour lead, cutting things to 14-13 later in the second quarter. Russell would knock down a tough shot inside to extend the Lady Eagles’ lead to 16-13. Both teams would trade baskets with one another, but Bailey McCoy would knock down a shot in the paint to keep Seymour in front 21-16, but Halls would knock down a three to go into halftime with a score of 21-19.
The third quarter would be key for the Lady Eagles, holding Halls scoreless throughout the quarter, while putting up 11 points of their own. With Halls going scoreless in the quarter, the Lady Eagles would take the game into the fourth quarter with a lead of 32-19.
Lady Eagles’ Head Coach Greg Hernandez spoke about the halftime adjustments and how they were able to hold Halls scoreless throughout the entire third quarter.
“At the half we kind of just reiterated some things that I felt like we need to work on, just preached how important it was just to contain, contain the drive and make it hard on them, and we did that,” he said. “Just trying to get them to just take a breath. Once I felt the vibe of us leaving the locker room, I felt pretty good about it.”
The Lady Eagles had built their lead by the start of the fourth, and would hold onto that lead throughout. The Lady Eagles would spend most of the fourth quarter at the foul line, where they would make the most of their chances. The Lady Eagles would knock down 17 of 23 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold onto their lead and take a 51-32 win.
Coach Hernandez spoke about how proud he is of his team, stringing together a 17-2 record since the start of the new year, and bringing home their second straight region title.
“It’s a huge accomplishment. It’s been a total team effort for us, and for us to be able to put ourselves in a position and hopefully give ourselves a chance to redeem ourselves for last year, it’s huge,” Hernandez said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls.”
The Lady Eagles will host their sectional round game against Greeneville on Saturday, March 4. Seymour is no stranger to Greeneville as the Lady Eagles fell short against the Lady Devils in the sub-state round last season.
Hernandez spoke about the keys for his team as they look to avenge last year’s loss, and punch their ticket to the TSSAA State Tournament.
“Obviously we have a little bit of familiarity with them. We played them last year in the same game, and played them over the summer in a scrimmage. We’re just going to have to take care of the basketball, and put together stops defensively,” he said. “If we can take care of the basketball, execute offensively, share the ball the way we have been, we can put ourselves in a position to compete to win.”
The Lady Eagles will be on their home floor against the Lady Devils on Saturday, March 4. The winner will advance to Murfreesboro for the state tournament.