They were the first Lady Hawks basketball team to earn the regular season district title. Then, they went on to be the first Lady Hawks’ team to win the District Tournament Championship.
After beating the Beech Lady Buccaneers, 57-49, Monday, February 24th at home, they became the first Lady Hawks’ team in school history to advance to the Region 5-AAA Tournament Championship game.
The game was a defensive battle that went back and forth for three periods. However, star players make big plays when games are on the line. Rossview’s Janie White proved her stardom, scoring 10 of her total team leading 22 points in the final period.
“I thought Janie was huge down the stretch,” Lady Hawks’ head coach Justin Woods said. “As was Ashley, making free throws, taking care of the ball. They tried to pressure up on her and she just kept beating it.”
Led by the two seniors, White and Ashley Powers, the Lady Hawks’ converted 5-of-7 from the field, 12-of-14 free throws and committed only two turnovers in the final period of the game.
“Big players make big plays in the big moments. I felt like our two seniors really did that,” Woods said.
After opening with 16 points in the first period, the Lady Buccaneers defense slowed the normally soaring Lady Hawks offense to a crawl and kept themselves within striking distance for the next two periods.
At the beginning of the fourth period the Lady Hawks led by only one point, 35-34.
“You have got to give them credit. They played good defense,” Woods said. “ They were trying to take our strengths away. We had to run everything we had.”
The Lady Hawks opened the final period with a 6-2 run, but Beech’s Falon Baker made her third, 3-pointer of the game with 3:37 remaining to cut the lead back to four points, 45-41.
On the ensuing Rossview possession, Powers drove to the basket and was fouled. She made both free throws, extending the lead back to six.
Next, the Lady Hawks forced a Lady Buccaneer turnover, then set up the half-court offense that had brought them to the Region 5-AAA Tournament Semifinals.
They got the ball to White in the post and she scored while drawing the foul. White converted the 3-point play from the free throw line, improving the Hawks lead to nine with less than three minutes left in the game.
White continued her barrage, scoring the next three points for the Lady Hawks. Behind 53-45 with less than a minute in the game, the Lady Buccaneers were forced to foul to keep a chance of winning the game.
But the Lady Hawks made 4-of-6 free throws in the last minute while holding the Lady Buccaneers to one point. McKenna Taylor made a 3-pointer for the Lady Buccaneers as time expired, but it was not enough.
The Lady Buccaneers shot 3-of-11 from the field in the final period. Falon Baker led all scorers with 25 points. Taylor scored 15.
White had six rebounds and three blocks to go with her 22 points. Powers scored 9 and Haley Croom added 7 points.
Next, the Lady Hawks will play Mt. Juliet in a showdown of the Districts top seeds for the Region 5-AAA Tournament Championship Wednesday, Feb. 26th at Rossview High School.
Rossview 16 9 10 22 – 57
Beech 13 10 11 15 – 49
Janie White 22, Ashley Powers 9, Haylee Croom 7, Jemiah Harrison 2, Karle Pace 7, Mickey Head 4, Kiara Fisher 2.
Falon Baker 25, Ashtin Banks 1, McKenna Taylor 15, Deja Smith 8.