It's not fair.
That's what other squads must be saying when they find out they have to play the Community R-6 varsity girls basketball team. No. I don't want to. How else can programs react after witnessing the Lady Trojans hold their first round opponent in Class 1, District 10, on Monday, Wellsville-Middletown, scoreless in two different quarters. In the same game. That's just mean.
The fact CR-6 is also hosting has to make these other teams that much more insecure, but to North Shelby's credit, 7-15 overall, it still came to play for their district semifinals showdown on Wednesday. Then the contest began and Delaney Bowers was like a ship in the night to the Lady Raiders. A battleship that bombed the underdogs with 17 points that Brianna Beamer coordinated with to make a 14-point attack.
The Lady Trojans were just relentless as Deann Brooks also absolutely unleashed the dogs of war on North Shelby from one direction in the form of 11 points, 10 rebounds and three steals while Natalie Thomas showed no mercy at the same time from another direction with 10 points and six boards. This left North Shelby decimated in the first quarter 20-2. When CR-6 also claimed the second 23-8 to head into the half leading 43-10, it was more of the same after that until it finally came out on top 77-26.
"The girls have looked incredibly focused and businesslike in the first two rounds of districts. We have outscored our opponents 42-2 in the first eight minutes of our first two playoff games," said coach Bob Curtis. "I like our energy and effort as everyone is giving 110 percent on every play right now. To have six girls around double figures in a big game is special."
This was the squads 23rd victory and that ties the school record. Reaching this mark was a goal that took the work of many, though, so without Sadie Hoyt's nine points or Alexis Welch's eight points and five rebounds none of those more dynamic performances would have had nearly as much meaning. The same cane be said for Emma Hombs, Delanie Windmann and Emma Angel with two points a piece.
"The girls want to go deep into the state tournament and have had an incredible year. North Shelby has a young team and has a lot of speed at every position," Curtis said. "Look for them to really continue to get better under Coach Daniels in the coming years."
The Lady Trojans were just as dominant over the Lady Raiders after halftime and took the third 20-11 to extend their advantage to 63-21 prior to laying claim to the final session 14-5.
In the other district semifinals game Wednesday Canton, 13-12 overall, eliminated Madison, 16-10 overall, 59-44. The championship game for this district will take place at Mexico High School on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
Even though the playoffs are upon us and titles are there to be had, last Thursday at Madison the Community R-6 varsity girls basketball team still had one more regular season Central Activities Conference game to play. For years these programs have been butting heads with one another like rams on a mountainside trying to claim dominance over the other. Some of these matches have been just short of downright brutal. None of that mattered, though. One win and the Lady Trojans would be CAC co-champions.
While some things changed in the most recent chapter of this rivalry, other things stayed the same. One constant this team is going to miss when its gone is Thomas, a junior who came through with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals. What her efforts helped launch was a 16-8 first quarter lead for CR-6 over the Lady Panthers that may have begun like a weed willowing its way through a crack in the sidewalk, but by the end it was an ever-burgeoning wildflower that flourished into a 51-26 victory.
"This was our last CAC contest of the season. With this win we are crowned Co-League Champions as we split games with Cairo in conference, beating them at home and losing on the road at their place," said coach Curtis. "Both teams ran the table with everyone else in the conference this year. I am very proud of what the girls have accomplished this regular season finishing with the best regular season record in school history, a conference title, and hopefully a long post season run."
Everything else that the Lady Trojans accomplished they did as a rich tapestry of on-court artistry that most definitely reflected Curtis' love and respect for the game. As to how this translated into numbers, for Hoyt that meant scoring nine with four rebounds, Beamer had eight points on 3-for-6 free throw shooting with four rebounds and Bowers added five points and two boards.
"What an accomplishment for this group to win the EMO conference last year and join the CAC and win it in the 18-19 season," Curtis said., "The girls were very business like against Madison, (which is) one of the better teams in our district, winning all four quarters in an impressive manner. The two losses we have had this year, in the next contest both times we have really responded and played well, shaking off the doubt."
CR-6 outscored Madison in every quarter in this contest. That included 15-10 in the second, 13-2 in the third and 7-6 in the fourth.