ATHENS, Tenn.—There could come a time later this postseason when McMinn Central forward Jenna Adams picking up a second foul in the first quarter could loom large. In Monday's District 5-AA girls' high school basketball championship game, it couldn't have mattered less.
The Chargerettes' standout was called for her second foul with 50.6 seconds remaining in the first period, but by then they already had built a 14-point lead. They coasted past Polk County 73-27.
Meigs County held off Sequoyah 54-53 in the girls' consolation game.
The tournament at McMinn County concludes tonight with boys' games, including McMinn Central taking on Sequoyah for the championship at 7:30.
The Region 3-AA tournament begins Friday with girls' quarterfinals at the home sites of the higher-seeded teams at 7 p.m.
McMinn Central's girls will host Howard and Polk County will host Brainerd. Sequoyah will play at tonight's winner between Tyner and East Hamilton in the District 6 final at East Hamilton. and Meigs County will visit the runner-up.
Adams sat out the rest of the first quarter after being called for her second foul, but McMinn Central coach Johnny Morgan chose to put her back in at the start of the second.
"We were ahead and we knew she would probably adjust," teammate Elizabeth Massingil said. "She's pretty good about adjusting."
Adams did adjust and played the rest of the half without fouling. She totaled six points in the second quarter to go with the nine she had in the first and ended the game with 19.
"If they get two fouls, they're going back in," McMinn Central coach Johnny Morgan said. "Then if they get their third foul in the first half, I'll take them out. You've just got to play smart. Tonight Jenna and Elizabeth both played really well. We could've gotten by without either one of them, but not both at the same time."
Massingil not only provided scoring help for Adams, who was chosen the tournament's most valuable player, she led the Chargerettes in the final with 24 points. Despite facing a zone defense designed to clog the inside, Massengil powered her way to five three-point play opportunities in the first half, completing three.
"She does a good job of squeezing through that," Morgan said.
Massengil's 16 points in the first two quarters helped McMinn Central take a 47-12 lead.
The Chargerettes started out in a swarming full-court defense and limited the Wildkittens to single-digit scoring in each quarter. They also made six 3-point goals.
"We played as a team tonight," Massengil said. "That's how we need to play."
Meigs County's Madison Hampton and Amanda Tilley each converted both ends of a one-and-one, Hampton with 1:29 to play that put the Lady Tigers ahead and Tilley making the cushion three. After Sequoyah's Lindsey Cooper put back a teammate's missed 3-point shot with eight seconds remaining, the Lady Chiefs got a last chance to win it, but their late 35-footer hit over the top of the backboard.
The Lady Tigers built a 10-point halftime lead but found their advantage down to 44-41 late in the third quarter. They fell behind 51-50 on Kassidi Freeman's rebound basket with 1:50 left before regrouping.
Hampton paced Meigs County with 19 points. Emileigh Swafford scored 11 and Tilley added 10.
Hunter Simpson was high for Sequoyah with 17 points.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.