Signal Mountain on Saturday hosted the fourth annual Hoops for Hope event for the first time, and things went just the way the Lady Eagles wanted it to.
According to reports from Jan Moses, the on-site representative for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation Scholarship Fund, everything ran smoothly. Signal Mountain was able to present two scholarships to the foundation with the proceeds raised from the event, and the Lady Eagles defeated Arts & Sciences 53-35 in one of the four girls' high school basketball games.
Red Bank edged Sequatchie County 39-37 in overtime in the first game of the day. Soddy-Daisy then defeated Chattanooga Christian 53-44 and GPS beat Notre Dame 42-36 in the nightcap.
Signal Mountain seniors Christopher Miles and Chris Spencer were presented with scholarships for next school year. Miles' is in memory of his mother, Jayne. Spencer's mother, Kathy, is a breast-cancer survivor of 20 years.
"We knew this was going to be a big undertaking," Signal Mountain coach Jason Hill said. "But we knew we had the support of the parents and the faculty at the school. Once everybody was on board it was great. It gives everybody a big smile when you do something that's bigger than the game."
The biggest part of Signal Mountain's game was the second half. A 5-0 broke a tie at 19 and the Lady Eagles led the rest of the way. The lead grew to 37-27 by the end of the third quarter with the final score being the largest margin.
Point guard Aryn Sanders, whose mother, Leigh, co-chaired the event along with Lois Whitmire, sparked the Lady Eagles with 24 points. Kelsey McGowan chipped in with 12.
"Our game is going to be 110-percent pressing," Hill said. "We want to create a helter-skelter situation on the court. The first half we just weren't clicking. We got going in the second half."
Red Bank's Heather Jones made two free throws to start the overtime scoring in the opener, and her team maintained a lead from there. Jasmine Simpson scored 17 points for the Lady Lions, whose 10 points in overtime were more than they scored in any quarter.
Red Bank caught a break in that Sequatchie County had some starters out for various reasons. But the Lady Lions may have created their biggest break, limiting Lady Indians post player and leading scorer Keely Frederick to one point before she fouled out in the fourth quarter.
"We packed it down inside and tried to keep her off the boards," Red Bank coach Kraig Campbell said. "A girl like that can hurt you with offensive rebounds and putbacks. We did a good job with our defensive rebounding."
Soddy-Daisy outscored CCS 19-9 in the first quarter and kept the advantage the rest of the way. Shana Ward's 18 points paced the victory, Hannah Harris added 15 and they combined for seven 3-point goals.
Joanna Smith led the Lady Chargers with 12 points.
GPS scored the first six points in its game, then found itself trailing 23-12 at halftime. The Bruisers were within 36-33, then finished the game scoring the last nine points over the final 2:40 to knock Notre Dame from being unbeaten.
Akia Harris topped GPS with 15 points. The Lady Irish got 10 from Keonna Beaman.
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.