|McMinn dresses to repeat success |
|Posted: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 6:13 am |
| By MIKE HUTCHENS |
Messenger Sports Editor
Been there, done that.
And McMinn Central has the T-shirt to prove it.
The Chargerettes — Obion Central’s first round foe in the Class 2A girls’ state tournament Wednesday afternoon — were sporting the commemorative attire of champions after beating Macon County 48-37 for the championship a year ago.
The title was the first in any sport in McMinn Central school history and came in the program’s fifth consecutive appearance in the state tournament and second in a row in the championship game.
The Chargerettes, who lost but once in 36 games last season, were runnersup to Gibson County in 2010, losing 63-60 when the Lady Pioneers mounted a furious second-half rally to give legendary skipper David Russell his sixth state title and send MC to a heartbreaking 32-3 finish.
This year’s McMinn Central club is centered around the multiple talents of 5-11 junior post player Elizabeth Massengil, the state tournament Most Valuable Player a year ago and a two-time Miss Basketball finalist.
Massengil averages 24 points and 12 rebounds and was both the district and regional tournament MVP for a Chargerette squad that will come in on a nine-game victory streak, having won those games by an average of 24 points.
Elizabeth Trentham, one of five freshmen on the roster, is a 6-footer who averages 7 points and 5 rebounds per-game inside. Junior guard Kelsey Young is a calming experienced backcourt performer.
The Lady Rebels (33-2) — with the most wins of any team in the 51-year history of the program and with but one loss to a team from Tennessee (Covington, 61-59 in overtime) — have won seven straight coming in after having run off streaks of 12 and 14 in a row at other junctures this season.
OC has been led to both the District 13 and Region 7 Tournament championships by the perfect inside-outside complement of Brandi Goodman (19 points, 15 rebounds-per-game on average) and Macy Wright (15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists).
A handful of role players have also made signficant contributions to Central’s stellar season, including versatile junior Paige Hicks and her classmates Ali McEwen, Brooke Jennings and Shannon Wiggins.
Jennings was an all-region selection, while Hicks made all-district. McEwen and Wiggins have each come up with numerous clutch buckets down the stretch while opposing defenses have focused on Goodman and Wright.
The Lady Rebels (3rd) and MC (9th) join Livingston Academy (No. 1) and Manassas (6th) as ranked entries among the eight-team field in the tourney.
Central and Christ Presbyterian Academy (33-3) have the most wins of any of the clubs, with CPA being the only team to have never before made an appearance in the state tournament.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. Published in The Messenger 3.6.12