A season that will be remembered for 30 wins will not include a chance for the Lady Warriors of Booker T. Washington to win the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association 1A Championship.
Even with the game in Memphis, the Warriors (30-6) could not derail the bid of the Dresden Lions to make a second-straight state tournament appearance. With fans aplenty making the 135-mile trip to Memphis, the Lions (23-9) defeated the Warriors 64-50.
Warriors head coach Steven McKinney said, “I appreciate all of my kids’ efforts. I thought we gave it all we had to win the game. There are a couple things we could have done better. I like that we fought to the end. I thought there were a lot of things that went their way.”
The Warriors missed some shots that normally fall for them and gave up some easy baskets.
“We play a certain way and we came out and we tried. I wanted my team to win the game, but we shot ourselves in the foot.…We had some crazy turnovers we should not have had. We dove on the floor, we tried to get the win. I am so proud of this team.”
Reflecting on the season, McKinney said, “The positive thing is we won 30 basketball games this year. We won the County Championship. Two of my seniors are going to sign D-1 scholarships (Griggs and Jackson). My girls have gotten some opportunities. We have traveled, we have been to New Orleans and Alabama. They got a lot of exposure out there. My kids got themselves in a position to go to the next level.”
The final score was not indicative of the competitiveness of the game. The Lions jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never gave it up. The Warriors made runs, but at every turn the Lions had answers.
The Lions came into the game after losing to the No. 2-ranked girls’ team in the state, the Greenfield’s Jackets, 66-64 in overtime in the District Championship game.
The Lions were led by Mary Davis 20 points, Rachel Childress 13 points and Katie Washburn 9 points. The Warriors were led by Jackson State signee Carnessia Griggs with 17 points, Derrinesha Jackson with 16 points and Tramesha Rodgers 12 points.
Lions’ head coach Jonathan West said his team has got to do a better job of not letting teams back into the game.
“I give them (BTW) a lot of credit. Griggs is as good of a player as we have played against all year. We have not played against a lot of teams from Memphis. We were told if you get up on (their) team they will lay down, and they did not. They are well coached and they play hard.”
The Lady Warriors were perfect in District play (16-0) and won the Shelby County Interscholastic Athletic Association County Single A Championship this season.