BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
AFTON - Happy Valley made things exciting at the end, but the Chuckey-Doak Middle girls had just enough to pull out a 41-40 victory in the Tri-County Conference tournament championship game Thursday night at CDMS.
Chuckey-Doak led by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, but needed a pair of free-throw misses by the Lady Warriors in the final seconds to escape.
The Lady Knights finish the year as both the conference regular season and tournament champions. They will now compete in the TMSAA region tournament, though time and dates have yet to be announced.
"I'm very proud we were able to come out with a win," Chuckey-Doak head coach Tony Schroek said. "I was very pleased with our effort. Happy Valley is a well-coach team. They are a good team with some very good athletes."
Chuckey-Doak went into the fourth quarter up eight and Jackie Hegarty quickly moved the margin to 10 when she knocked down a jumper from the right wing. The margin was still at double digits inside three minutes left in the game, but the Lady Warriors refused to go down without a fight.
Happy Valley cut it to five when Emily Whitaker dropped a trey from the right side with 1:08 remaining. With 29 seconds showing Whitaker hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game at 40-37.
The Lady Knights' Erica Lamb hit the front end of a one-and-one and it eventually proved to be enough to carry Chuckey-Doak to the finish.
Happy Valley's Kaitlyn Roberts hit a three from the left wing with 15 seconds on the clock to make it a one-point game. The Lady Warriors had a chance to win when Whitaker stole an inbounds pass and moved it up court to Beth Reese, who was fouled with four seconds remaining.
Reese only had to make one free throw to send the game into overtime but missed wide left on the first and went long off the back of the iron on the second, allowing Chuckey-Doak to escape.
"(Winning both the regular season and the tournament) is one thing we weren't able to do last year," Schroeck said. "We were able to win the regular season but didn't win the tournament. I am so super proud of these girls. From day one they've worked their tails off and all of these girls are team first."
Chuckey-Doak started the game strong, marching out to a 12-5 lead after one quarter. They were led by their post tandem of Madi McInturff and Taylor Southerland in the early portion.
The Lady Warriors were able to close the gap to four points at halftime.
In the third quarter the Lady Knights' offense woke up and extended the lead to eight points twice. The second time was when Taylor Campbell connected from deep with six seconds remaining to close the quarter.
Southerland led Chuckey-Doak with 13 points and was named Tournament Most Valuable Player, as well as the Tri-County Conference's regular season MVP. Lamb, McInturff, Jackie Hegarty and Ondreea Shelton were named to the all-tournament team.
Happy Valley was led by Roberts with 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Reese scored 12 for the Lady Warriors.
Chuckey-doak boys fall in third-place game
The Chuckey-Doak boys started fast but were quickly slowed by Hampton's press as the Black Knights fell 57-37 in the third-place game of the Tri-County Conference Tournament.
Nathaniel Moon scored eight points in the opening period, including a pair of threes, to guide the Black Knights to 13-7 lead after one.
Hampton turned up the defense and Chuckey-Doak had no answer for the full-court press. The Bulldogs opened the second quarter on a 16-1 run to turn their seven-point deficit at the start of the quarter into a 10-point lead going into intermission. It was a balanced attack by Hampton, who had three players score four points and one player score five in the period.
In the third quarter Hampton utilized their perimeter prowess to extend the lead to 47-30. Dru Owens connected from deep twice and Seth Anderson dropped in one triple from the right wing.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as the Bulldogs stretched the margin to 20 points.
As the disappointing as the loss was, the Chuckey-Doak faithful could not have been more excited as the game concluded and the participating teams decided to name the Black Knights' Noah Shepherd as the tournament's Honorary MVP. Shepherd has been a part of the CDMS program this season, and even played in several junior varsity games, despite suffering from Downs Syndrome.
Chuckey-Doak 12 8 11 10 41
Happy Valley 5 11 7 17 40
Madi McInturff 8
Jackie Hegarty 6
Erica Lamb 5
Ondrea Shelton 4
Kristen Dixon 2
Emily Whitaker 7
Morgan Jones 4
Makayla Frazier 2
Hampton 7 23 17 10 57
Chuckey-Doak 13 7 10 7 37
Nathaiel Moon 15
Devin Jennings 9
Dakota Greer 6
Tamer Wykle 4
Jacob Willett 3
Chris Holtsclaw 14
Seth Anderson 11
Adam Corartt 7
Adam McClain 6
Dru Owens 6
Jared Andrews 5
Curtis Carden 4
Jason Russell 2
Wyatt Lyons 2