The Hillsboro Lady Burros (22-5) secured the first Region 6 title of the 4A era with a 38-27 victory over the Ravenwood Lady Raptors (22-9) Wednesday night at Summit High School.
“This group is such a special group,” said Hillsboro head coach Cherish Stringfield. “I am glad to do it with them and have them lead the charge. Tonight, we definitely had to ride the wave up and down. It was a little bumpy. I am just proud of those girls holding their composure and being able to turn it up a notch when we needed to get the job done.”
“We are really excited; we have never made it this far in my years at Hillsboro,” said Hillsboro junior Latazia Williamson. “We just made history.”
In the first quarter, Hillsboro pitched a shutout in the frame, getting off to a fast start with baskets by juniors Kamil Washum and Latazia Williamson to grab the advantage 8-0.
Speed and defense helped the Lady Burros keep their margin in the second quarter with three pointers and layups by Williamson, Washum, senior Latisha Parris, and junior Kimora Lockett to go ahead at the break, 17-9.
In the third quarter, the dynamic duo of Reghan Grimes and junior Elizabeth Flynn kept the Lady Raptors within striking distance, but Williamson tallied a bucket in the paint to give the Lady Burros the lead 20-18.
Hillsboro found another gear in the fourth quarter with behind-the-arc shots and layups by Williamson, senior Darriona Salter, Washum and junior Kimora Lockett.
Ravenwood tried to climb back in the game, but the Lady Burros made timely free throws to keep the contest within their reach, grabbing the Region 6-4A title 38-27.
Hillsboro held the Lady Raptors to 27 points.
“We had to study on defense and try to take away their players strengths,” said Stringfield. “We knew Reghan Grimes is a really good player and we were going to have a tough time with her. Defense is a strong suit for us, and we take pride in it.”
“Defense wins championships, and that is what it did today,” said Williamson.
Grimes paced Ravenwood with 15 points, and while Flynn added 12.
Williamson led Hillsboro with 15 points, while Washum and Salter were tied with eight each.
Grimes and Washum were joined on the All-Tournament team by Summit’s Bergen Allee and Brentwood’s Sydney Ryan. Williamson was named the tournament MVP.
“They (Latashia and Kamil) had hard work, dedication, and determination,” said Stringfield. “Latashia was very deserving of the MVP award tonight. She was on the boards, blocking shots, and was the presence inside that we needed.
“It is a testament to my hard work,” said Grimes. “I just hope I can lead my team further on Saturday.”
Ravenwood will play Cookeville on the road Saturday night in a substate match-up.
“We are going to go there, regroup, and play as hard as we can,” said James. “They are a really good team and it will be a tough task for us, but we look forward to the challenge.”
“No matter what, I want us to go out fighting,” said Grimes. “We came out and did not score in the first quarter today, and that is very uncharacteristic for us. We can learn from this and build our confidence back up.”
Hillsboro will host Beech on Saturday night in the substate round.
“It is going to be a competitive game, so we have to leave it all on the line,” said Stringfield.