When it mattered the most, the Covenant Lady Lions finally came through against their local rival.
The Covenant girls team claimed the Knights Christmas Classic title, defeating the Boyd Lady Broncos 31-27 in the championship game.
“I’m extremely proud of my girls for playing their game and keeping their minds right,” said Covenant coach Lacey Slatton. “No matter what happened, they just kept pushing forward. They are learning their new roles and are continuing to get better.
For them to come back and beat a team who has already beaten us three times this year is a huge accomplishment.”
Indeed, Boyd has dominated the local rivalry, winning both regular-season meetings in the last month. The Lady Broncos had also beaten Covenant hours earlier 32-10, forcing the Lady Lions to battle out of the loser’s bracket.
Covenant beat Valor 29-18 to move into the championship game, setting up a winner-take-all matchup with its familiar foe.
Despite playing its fifth game in three days - and third game in 10 hours - Covenant still had enough juice to finally get over the hump against Boyd.
Madisen Madewell got off to a hot start in the title tilt, scoring nine of her game-high 13 points in the first half. It helped Covenant go to the locker rooms leading 19-14.
With the tournament employing a 20-minute running clock for both halves, Covenant knew it could hold on by showing patience on offense and playing lock-down defense.
Slatton saw both in the second half.
Covenant scored just 12 points in the second half, but it was enough to hang on. Madewell added two baskets late, as did Savanna Duggin, who finished with eight points.
Late attempts by Boyd to make a run were squashed by Covenant, which hoisted the big trophy proudly at the end of the night.
Slatton couldn’t help but smile when her team accepted its prize, knowing it represented a big step for her growing squad.
“We are a young team and they continue to work hard. I’m very proud of all of them. We are also super grateful for all of the parents and our boys team who stayed to support us,” said Slatton.
Sarah Sharpe scored six points in the victory, while Cassie Sharpe and Jaelin Stovall added two points apiece. The championship game was Covenant’s fifth victory of the week, helping it improve its overall record to 6-5.
Kapri Talley led Boyd with nine points. Rounding out the Lady Bronco scoring was Zoe Witty with eight, Anna Jones with six and Syd Durham and Sarah Woodruff with two points apiece.