Now that members of the Basketball Lady Wildcat Nation have had a few days to reflect and remember…..The Lady Wildcats have done the same and may need to sum up their 2016-17 season by the simple saying…..Sometimes things are just not meant to be. The Lady Wildcats entered the Region 5AAA semi-finals having won 30 games, having won the District 9AAA crown and hoping to advance to the Region Championship, Rossview, came into the same game, having claimed the runner-up spot of District 10AAA and was looking to improve on a season of ups and downs. Both teams knew that a win could propel them to the Region Championship and more importantly a chance to advance to the TSSAA Girls State Tournament in Murfreesboro. The opening quarter saw Wilson Central take an early lead of 10-4 as it seemed that the Lady Wildcats were on their way to the Championship. But as most sports enthusiast’s’ are aware a basketball game has 4 quarters. Having given up 10 points to Wilson Central and only scoring 4 the Lady Hawks added 8 of their own and took the momentum into the locker room. Although a low scoring affair at 12-12 the Lady Hawks thought they could play with the #6 ranked team in Tennessee. The 3rd quarter was more of the same for Wilson Central being held to just 8 points as the offense of Byrd, Elrod and Freeman were held in check. Defenses for both teams were battling to keep the opponent from scoring as Rossview’s defense proved it was a bit more active throughout the 2nd and 3rd quarters allowing the Lady Wildcats to only score 10 points while Rossview scored 20 points of their own to make the score 24-20 heading into the 4th and final quarter. The Lady Wildcats finally caught up with the Lady Hawks late in the 4th as those in attendance were all standing and shouting for their teams. Lindsey Freeman, a freshmen, whose experience in the big game was somewhat limited, saw the defense of Rossview hold Byrd and Elrod well under their scoring average Freeman was now the go to. Slashing and shooting and getting fouled Freeman scored 10 of her 17 points in the final minutes. Trailing by only a few points it was the defense that continued to rise for Wilson Central. When Piper Elrod made a key steal taking the ball the length of the floor to find Freeman for a layup it kept the hopes alive cutting the lead to 30-28. After a few great defensive plays the Lady Wildcats still trailing by 2 saw Senior Nathalie Ventura get fouled in the act of shooting. Ventura went to the line with :53 seconds remaining needing both free throws to tie. She tied it and the Lady Wildcats had to withstand one more Lady Hawk possession to send the game into overtime. Survive they did and now an extra 4:00 of play to decide the winner. In the opening minutes of overtime, neither team could find the range until Freeman extended the lead to three, 33-30 with 2:16 to play. Unfortunately, the Lady Hawks went on a 9-1 run to take the game from the Lady Wildcats 39-34 to end the season for Wilson Central.
In the history of Wilson Central, this team of young ladies, especially the Seniors….Anna Altman, Addison Byrd, Piper Elrod and Nathalie Ventura will all be remembered for winning 100+ games in their careers, being undefeated and playing in the schools’ 7th state tournament as Juniors. They will be remembered for their grit, their desire and and especially their drive to represent the LADY WILDCAT TRADITION that continues to thrive and live for the next team of young ladies….TEAM #17. GO LADY WILDCATS!!!!!!!!!