By Wil Crews
Just last week, the 2019-20 Lee-Scott Academy Varsity Girls basketball team were presented with their AISA Class AAA championship rings. Last season, the girls won their first state championship since 2013. This year, there is no time to rest on their laurels. The Lady Warriors are already off to a 2-2 start on their title-defending campaign.
The season began with a low-scoring 32-27 win over Wiregrass as both teams looked skittish with first-game jitters. The girls then faced off against Tuscaloosa Academy. The two teams were nearly deadlocked until the final buzzer, but with the taste of victory salivating on their tongues, the Lady Warriors came up just short, falling to the Knights, 39-37.
The next game for the Lady Warriors was one they would like to forget. Lee-Scott managed only 17 points and lost to Clarke Prep Academy, 42-17. On Monday, Lee-Scott exhibited some of the resilience that led them to a state championship last season, beating the Edgewood Academy Wildcats in a back-and-forth game, 45-42.
The game began with a Lee-Scott explosion in the first quarter that saw the Warriors take an early 19-8 lead. Momentum then made a quantum leap back to Edgewood when the Lady Wildcats outscored Lee-Scott 16-2 in the second period. The halftime score sat at 24-21 with both teams looking for more consistency in the second half.
In the final two quarters, that consistency came in the form of defense for Lee-Scott. The Lady Warriors held Edgewood to just 9 points in both the third and fourth quarters. Meanwhile, the offense was led by Sterling Tucker, who finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and Lee-Scott took a two-point lead into the fourth.
The Lady Warriors managed to outscore Edgewood by 1 in the final period and held on to their lead to secure the 45-42 win.
Lee-Scott shot 42.6% from the field – far better than Edgewood’s 28.3% – but the Lady Wildcats hung around thanks in part to 9 made baskets from behind the three-point line. Still, however, the Lady Warriors had 10 steals compared to Edgewood’s 6, and outscored the Lady Wildcats 24-18 in the second half – just enough to scrape out the win.
Along with Tucker, two other Lady Warriors finished in double figures. Emma Frances Zellner finished with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and an impressive 4 steals. Madison Davis shot 4/9 on the way to her 10 points, and added 5 rebounds and 1 assist as well.
The win takes the Lady Warriors to 2-2 on the season. The girls played a game Tuesday night against the undefeated Pike Liberal Arts (2-0), but results were not available at press.
Tickets to Lee-Scott games must be pre-purchased from GoFan.co and all fans are required to wear masks and are encouraged to socially distance.