History repeated itself in the girls basketball Class AA sectionals Saturday night as Page was eliminated from postseason contention with a47-42 loss to Christ Presbyterian Academy. The Lady Lions defeated Page at CPA last year in the same round on their way to a state championship.
The loss ends what was a 20-game win streak for the Lady Patriots (28-5) and ends their season one game short of the BlueCross Basketball State Tournament.
“I feel for them,” Page coach Billy Mooney said following the game. “The younger kids can learn from it, but for these senior – they were such a joy to coach. They’ve done so much and to fall just a little bit short two years in a row is tough to take.”
Page returned all five starters from the 2012 team.
A standing-room only home crowd and a solid first quarter looked to give the Lady Patriots early momentum as Page led by as many as eight points in the first quarter – closing the opening period on a 13-1 run.
Despite trailing, CPA (27-7) dictated the game’s tempo throughout with physical play from posts Lauren Thompson and Faith LeGate. Thompson at 6-foot-1 and LeGate at 6-foot posed problems for penetrating Page drivers as well as Lady Patriots’ post Bria White.
CPA turned the contest into a one-possession battle for the entirety of the third quarter before Cat Taylor’s 3-pointer to start the fourth made the score 33-29. Page would go cold for the next four minutes though as the Lady Lions went on a 10-0 run to the 3:30 mark.
“There was a two or three minute stretch in the game where it was right there in the balance,” said Mooney. “We defensively missed assignments, missed rebounds, and offensively just weren’t attacking.”
Offensive rebounds were a key storyline throughout as Page’s ability to get multiple shot attempts in the third quarter kept them ahead while their inability in the fourth proved costly.
Once the momentum started rolling in CPA’s favor it was hard to swing back for Page – made increasingly more difficult by the fact the Lady Lions are an exceptional free throw shooting team. The squad made 19-of-22 on the night.
“They’re the defending state champions for a reason,” Mooney said. “They make plays. When they got control of the game it was hard to scramble and come back.”
Thompson, a Belmont University signee, led CPA with 18 points. LeGate, also a future Lady Bruin, had 12 points while Lipscomb signee Meredith Roman also had 12.
Taylor, a signee to Tennessee Tech, led Page with 16 points.
Mooney kept his post-game message to his team short – telling them only that he loved them and that they would talk more on Monday.
“These seniors are just great kids,” he said. “It’s hard to fault them even though we fell a little bit short. There’s a lot of things we could’ve done a whole lot better, but right now you just feel for them.”