A veteran team favored to win and an upset-minded group of young players claimed the District 5-A basketball championships Tuesday night at Arts & Sciences.
The top-seeded Boyd-Buchanan boys defended their district title with a 64-45 victory over CSAS, while second-seeded Arts & Sciences earned the girls' championship with a 41-34 upset over No.
1 Silverdale Baptist.
While the Boyd-Buchanan boys play with seven seniors, the CSAS girls have just one in their lineup, but both the veterans and the less experienced players can now share the title of champions.
The Lady Patriots' Keturah Billen earned the girls' tournament MVP award after her 10 points and tough defense helped her team rally past Silverdale. She was joined on the all-tournament team by senior Brooke Mitchell, junior Sarah McElvain, who scored a game-high 13 points in the final, and freshman point guard Sheridan Randolph.
"We're extremely young," first-year CSAS coach Zach Dragoo said. "It feels like every game has been this same story -- slow start, struggle to make shots, but then somehow we find a way to win. And every time we've done that, it's been predicated on our defense. I think they've really bought into the fact that we're going to go as far as our defense takes us."
After falling behind 9-0 to open the game against top-seeded Silverdale, a team the Lady Patriots split with during the regular season, CSAS ended the first quarter with a 7-0 run to get within 12-11.
In the second period, the Lady Patriots used their quickness to their advantage on the defensive end. They held Silverdale to five points, but only managed to score three of their own. In the second half, CSAS began finishing more of its offensive opportunities as the teams traded the lead five times.
The Lady Patriots claimed it for good with 3:57 remaining after Randolph picked up a loose ball and drove for the go-ahead basket. Silverdale was still within a point with less than two minutes to play, but back-to-back baskets from McElvain helped CSAS extend its margin to 41-34.
"This is a big-time confidence builder," Dragoo said. "When we beat them a few weeks ago, I think that kind of opened our eyes to what we could do. The last three weeks, the girls have really started listening, and doing exactly what we want, and here we are as district champions."
The Boyd-Buchanan boys got 17 points from tournament MVP Austin Walker as the Bucs claimed their second-straight district championship. Arts & Sciences fought back from an early 7-0 deficit to tie the game at 16 two minutes into the second quarter, but Boyd-Buchanan used 3-pointers from Walker and Hall Allen to extend its lead to 30-20 at the break.
"We knew that in a district championship game against a team like CSAS, especially on their home court, that it was going to be a fight," Bucs coach Cole Rose said. "They have a lot of young guys who've been improving all year. I was happy with the way we started, then they went on a little run, but I was pleased with how we responded to that."
Defense and experience helped the Bucs dominate the second half, and Q.D. Cox, Justus McMillan, Zach Jenkins and Allen joined Walker on the all-tournament team. Allen led all scorers with 18 points for Boyd-Buchanan (25-3), which will now turn its focus to defending its Region 3-A title next week.
"Everything started rolling for us in the second half," Rose said. "It definitely helps that we have seven seniors. At this point, they know what it takes. We talk about steps on a ladder and climbing them one at a time, but the main thing we want right now is for our guys to enjoy this.
"They've worked really hard to be successful, because for a long time we weren't successful. We definitely want to go further, but we also want our kids to enjoy winning a district championship. In the past, we've watched a lot of other teams win the district tournament, and it hurts."
In consolation games Tuesday, the Boyd-Buchanan girls defeated Grace Academy 51-32 to earn the No. 3 seeding for the upcoming region tournament, which will feature the top four teams from districts 5 and 6. Copper Basin earned the No. 3 boys' seeding with a 56-49 win over Grace, and will begin region play on Saturday.
The tournament begins Friday with the higher-seeded girls' teams hosting, while the boys' top seeds will host their first-round region games Saturday. The tournament moves to CSAS on Monday with the girls' semifinals, followed by the boys' semifinals on Tuesday.
(E-mail Jaime Barrett at email@example.com)
District 5-A at Arts & Sciences
Girls Consolation Game
BOYD-BUCHANAN 51, GRACE ACADEMY 32
Grace Academy 9 9 3 11 -- 32
Boyd-Buchanan 14 19 13 5 -- 51
Grace Academy (32) -- Ransby 2, Pollock 1, McGaughey, Jemaine, Jessica Bonner 20, Compton, McMasters 9, Ruefernaught, Carter.
Boyd-Buchanan (51) -- Highfield 6, Parker, Hiland 2, Maddie Abed 10, Balthrop 16, Sewell 2, High, McCalla 2, Amos, Roland, Maddie Wright 12, Willmore.
3-point goals: Grace 1 (Bonner); Boyd-Buchanan 1 (Abed).
Boys Consolation Game
COPPER BASIN 56, GRACE ACADEMY 49
Grace Academy 14 9 10 16 -- 49
Copper Basin 16 7 13 20 -- 49
Grace Academy (49) -- Will Slack 14, Roberts 2, Lyons, Svard 8, Russell, Hughes 2, Andrew Godsey 14, McQueen 6, Matheny 3, Cooke.
Copper Basin (56) -- Jake Cooper 19, Jesse Goode 10, Swineheart 5, Tanner Wilcox 10, Limburg 8, Jones 4, Trentham.
3-point goals: Grace Academy 6 (Godsey 4, Savard, Matheny); Copper Basin 5 (Cooper 3, Wilcox, Jones).
Girls Championship Game
ARTS & SCIENCES 41, SILVERDALE BAPTIST 34
Arts & Sciences 11 3 12 15 -- 41
Silverdale Baptist 12 5 10 7 -- 34
CSAS (41) -- Lewis, Little 9, Keturah Billen 10, Sarah McElvain 13, Mitchell 3, Walker 3, Benn, Randlph 3, Montgomery, Ealey, Justice.
Silverdale (34) -- Megan Lewis 10, White, Harkleroad 7, Woodard 6, Smith, Skelton 6, Sims 5.
3-point goals: CSAS 1 (Little); Silverdale 3 (Lewis 2, Harkleroad).
Boys Championship Game
BOYD-BUCHANAN 64, ARTS & SCIENCES 45
Arts & Sciences 13 7 13 12 -- 45
Boyd-Buchanan 14 16 18 16 -- 64
CSAS (45) -- Carter 7, Moorer 7, Wheeler, Hamilton 6, Brown 2, Dodds, Graves 4, Nelson, Ratliff, Houston 9, Moore 8, Fuller 2, Lansden.
Boyd-Buchanan (64) -- R. Walker, Hal Allen 18, Evans, Arendale 2, Justus McMillan 13, Cox 4, Nason 2, Covington, Macon 2, Austin Walker 17, Jenkins 6, Hodge, Jackson, Clarke.
3-point goals: CSAS 4 (Moorer 2, Carter, Houston); Boyd-Buchanan 6 (Allen 3, Walker 2, McMillan).