Adding an exclamation mark to their unbeaten season, the Dibrell Lady Wildcats hung on to beat the Lady Eagles of Morrison by 2 points, 35-33, for the championship 7-8 tournament trophy Saturday at Warren County High School.
“Morrison was tough, but our girls had two goals at the beginning of the season,” said Dibrell coach Marc Pyburn. “An undefeated season and a postseason championship. They just refused to be denied, and it couldn’t have happened to a better group of girls. They really bought into team first and self second.”
A fourth-quarter rally by the Lady Eagles almost took the game into overtime. Tall post Lia Wright (all tournament) shot for 15 points, a game-high, going to the charity stripe and hitting 5-of-9 as the Dibrell Wildcats clawed to hang onto their lead which got slimmer with each visit by Wright to the foul line. Gaby Monzon (all tournament) also hit for 6 of her 9 points in the final six minutes.
Morrison outscored Dibrell 15-5 in its push for a win during the final quarter.
“Our girls played very hard,” said Morrison coach Kyle Cannon. “They did everything we asked of them. They kept their heads up and never gave up. We fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win in the final seconds. We had all of the momentum and just ran out of time.”
Dibrell was shooting poorly from the line, only hitting 2-of-17 for 12 percent in the contest.
Morrison hit 7-of-27 for 33 percent as both teams left points on the table.
Dibrell’s offense was led by the double-digit duo of Kylie Young (all tournament) and JuJu Pyburn scoring 11 points each in the game as the Lady Wildcats built a 30-17 halftime lead.
Rhealee Johnson (MVP) helped Dibrell maintain the lead by consistent scoring, hitting for 9 points in the game and posting up while Sadie Simmons (all tournament) scored 4 points wrapping up the tally.
Lexie Whipple with 3 points and Cassi Ross, Brienne Kelsey (all tournament) and Brielee Kelsey scored 2 points to add to the total Lady Eagles scoring drive.