Lady Flames Fall In Championship Game

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Melanie Barker against Union defender
Melanie Barker against Union defender
- photo by George Starr

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Hopes of a NCCAA national championship ended when Union University’s LaTesa McLaughlin hit a desperation 3-pointer when the Lady Flames had cut the Lady Bulldog lead down to 63-60 with 1:30 remaining.

“That was a killer,” said the deeply disappointed Lee coach Marty Rowe after the 73-64 loss and his Lady Flames had to settle for a second place finish in the NCCAA Championship. “We did everything we could to defend and she makes that shot.

But never sell girls short. They battled until the final seconds.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses,” added Rowe. “But our first two games in this tournament against the host Grace team and then against a physical Roberts Wesleyan team took a lot out of our girls. Give Union credit, they have a great team and a great coach, as witnessed in the four games we have played this season.”

Lee led early in the contest by as much as four points at the 14:56 mark. But Union came firing back to grab a 38-33 lead at the half. That lead grew to 11 points with 11:51 remaining in the game. The Lady Flames staged one final rally before coming up short.

The Lady Bulldogs hurt the Lady Flames with deadly field goal shooting (52 percent). They also cashed in on 48 percent from behind the arc (10-of-21). They were just as strong from the free-throw line, canning 15-of-17.

Lee struggled from behind the arc the entire afternoon and could convert just 5-of-22 attempts. For the game, Rowe’s crew shot 39 percent from the field (20-of-51). From the free-throw line, they made good on 19-of-23.

Hollie German, who was named NCCAA Player of the Year, finished with 20 points and six assists. Jenna Adams, who earned a spot on the All-American team, countered with 19 points and eight rebounds. Rachel Lockhart finished with 10 points and Myriah Iles came off the bench to score eight.

Amy Philamlee was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line and tallied 24 points. McLaughlin, who was named the MVP of the national tournament, poured in 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished off four assists. Astrid Huttemann followed with 12 markers but it was Chelsea Bodiford who came off the bench and hurt the Lady Flames badly with three treys and nine points.

“They out-scored us 27-11 in points off the bench and that was a big difference,” injected Rowe. “We have not had that happen to us many times this year. I think our legs just finally gave out on us. We played such a tough schedule the entire year.”

The well-played game saw Lee commit only seven turnovers and Union was guilty of just nine. The Lady Bulldogs held a 27-26 edge in rebounds.

Rowe admitted that losing this group of seniors hurt worse than losing the game. “They are special to us and the entire Lee community. That’s the last time I’ll coach them on the court but I will always be there for them when they need me. In our very first year of NCAA Division II play, we won the Gulf South championship and no one can ever take that away from us.”

Both Lee and Union finish the basketball season with identical 25-6 records and Saturday represents many more exciting encounters between the two classy Gulf South schools.

Rachel Lockhart
Rachel Lockhart
- Photo2 by George Starr

No.13 UTC Prepares for No.9 Jax State

“The Jacksonville State defensive front four is as good or better than Central Michigan’s.”   -- UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden. It’s “Whiteout Saturday” at Finley Stadium as Chattanooga hosts its oldest rival in Jacksonville (Ala.) State in a battle of two top 15 nationally ranked FCS teams. Both teams – No.9 Jax ... (click for more)

UTC is No.13 in This Week's Football Poll

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team moved up a spot in the national polls, despite dropping a tough 20-16 battle at Central Michigan last week.  The Mocs are No. 13 in the Sports Network Top-25 and No. 15 in the FCS Coaches Poll this week.  The No. 13 national mark ties the highest ranking for UTC in the Russ Huesman era (since ... (click for more)

16-Year-Old Shot Near Emma Wheeler Homes

A 16-year-old was shot near Emma Wheeler Homes on Sunday night. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Chattanooga Police received a call of a person shot from a local hospital. Officers spoke to the victim, a 16-year-old black male, who was transported to a local hospital in a personal vehicle. The victim’s injury is minor and non-life threatening. Investigators spoke to the victim ... (click for more)

Helen Burns Sharp Asks Recovery Of Legal Fees In Successful Black Creek TIF Lawsuit

Helen Burns Sharp, citizen activist who sued to try to stop a $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and won, is seeking to have her legal expenses paid by the city and the developers. Ms. Sharp said in a court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka are $74,427 thus far. Chancellor Frank Brown ruled in favor of Ms. Sharp, saying the Sunshine ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)