The Lady Chargers of CCS won a thriller Tuesday night against Providence Christian Academy in the first round of the Division II Class A state tournament.
Visiting Providence scored a go ahead bucket to take a 38-37 lead with 16 seconds left but the Lady Chargers answered with a game winning runner by Addie Henry with six seconds. The swarming CCS defense was too much for the Lions as the clock ran out.
Henry finished with 16 points and Kate Dirkse had 13.
CCS head coach Laura Cottrell knew her team was ready for the final shot in a close game.
"Their experience was a huge factor," Cottrell said. "The close games we have played over the past three years and especially the last week allowed them to stay focused when we were down by one in the final seconds. We got the ball out quick and down the floor and took a great shot. Then quickly jumped into the press and they couldn't inbound the ball in the final seconds."
Providence took an eight point lead early in the fourth quarter before the Lady Chargers began to chip away at the lead. A Kate Dirkse three in the corner brought her team and the home crowd alive. The CCS full court defense limited PCA's chances late in the game.
Cottrell continued, "They were composed and knew what to do in the final seconds," she said. "I think that is what I am most impressed with and it shows the growth in them in just a season. I am so proud of these girls and what they have done. It is truly a blessing to be on this journey with them."
Dirkse scored 10 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter including 3 of 4 from the free throw line. CCS hit 10 of 18 free throws as a team.
CCS advances to the quarterfinals and will play top seeded Northpoint on Friday in Memphis.
CCS 12 7 7 13 - 39
PCA 14 11 7 6 - 38
CCS (39) Henry 16, Dirkse 13, Blevins 3, Pruitt 3, Davick 2
PCA (38) Edmonds 13, Donley 8, Markham 7, Jones 4, Bevins 3, Callum 1
Three pointers: CCS 3 (Blevins 1, Pruitt 1, Dirkse 1); PCA 2 (Edmonds 1, Bevins 1)