It was a tale of two girls basketball behemoths when the Class 1A No. 1 Lebanon Lady Greyhounds met up with the Class 3A No. 5 Civic Memorial Lady Eagles in the championship game of the 43rd Annual Carrollton Lady Hawk Invitational Basketball Tournament.
Lebanon (23-1) led just once in the entire game — after the opening basket. The Lady Eagles’ size coupled with a multitude of Lady Greyhound offensive miscues proved to be the major culprit in the 48-35 defeat.
“We knew going in we were going to play a team that was more physical, faster and probably stronger than any opposition we have faced all year,” said Lebanon coach Chad Cruthis.
After taking a 2-0 lead the Greyhounds were stifled offensively as Civic Memorial (21-2) went on a 5-0 run and outscored Lebanon 15-7 in the first quarter. Second-chance opportunities proved to be vital as the physical Eagles were able to crash the boards, while the Greyhounds could not get shots to fall. Lebanon was limited to just 15 points in the first half, 11 of which came from junior standout Kendra Bass.
The closest the Greyhounds got to catching their opponent was five points. But Civic Memorial built up a 17-point lead before ultimately claiming the double-digit victory.
Despite the loss, the Greyhounds were able to limit the Eagles to their second-lowest point total of the season — well under their average of 65.
“Defensively I felt we held our own,” said Cruthis. “They put every bit of energy they had on the floor. That was just an awfully darn good team we played out there tonight. We have nothing to hold our head about.”
“Regardless of class, that team can play,” said Civic Memorial coach Jonathan Denney. “Our focus tonight was defense and to use our size and strength as an advantage. They are quicker than us, and I thought we did phenomenal on the defensive side of things.”
Kendra Bass led the way in scoring for Lebanon with 14 points, followed by her sister Krista Bass with 7 points.
Civic Memorial was led by Allie Troeckler with 20 points, followed by Kourtland Tyus with 7 points.
The Lady Greyhounds also had three players named to the all-tournament team: Kendra Bass, Krista Bass and Emily Reinneck. Troeckler was named tournament MVP.