|MURFREESBORO: Lady Tornadoes’ historic run ended in championship game
|Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 6:38 pm
Union City's Tory Reedy dribbles across the midcourt stripe while being guarded by Jackson County's McKenzie Flynn during Saturday afternoon's TSSAA Class A Girls' State Championship game at Murfreesboro. The No. 1-ranked Lady Tornadoes dropped a 48-35 de
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
MURFREESBORO — All good things must eventually come to an end.
Union City’s bid for its first-ever TSSAA-sanctioned girls’ state championship and 21-game winning streak were halted in the Class 1A title game with a 48-35 loss to Jackson County today.
The emotional loss came vs. the same school that eliminated UC a year ago — that in the semifinals — and gave the Lady Blue Devils their eighth state title in the storied history of their program.
Nonetheless, the Lady Tornadoes posted the most wins ever in the annals of Union City girls’ hoops, winning 32 of 36 games.
The Twisters’ sporadic offense finally caught up with them in the championship matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the final state rankings.
UC shot just 28.6 percent from the field for the contest (12-of-42), including making but seven field goals over the final three quarters after taking a 12-6 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
Add in the play of Jackson County’s Jaycee Coe — who finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds and was named both Miss Basketball and the state tournament MVP afterward — and the Lady Tornadoes’ title hopes were dashed.
Coe, just a junior, has already verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.
“We’re used to being the bigger and stronger team — especially inside — and we ran into someone just as big and just a strong as we were,” UC head coach Eddie Suiter said. “I’m not going to have wait to reflect on what these girls have accomplished, though. I know they’ll hurt for the next few hours and maybe the next few days, but I’ve enjoyed them every day. They’re such a great group of girls.”
Jackie Hudson scored 12 points and Tory Reedy 10 for Union City.
Both were named to the all-tournament team, along with teammate Raven Fair.
Coe scored all nine of Jackson County’s points during a second-quarter flurry that saw the Lady Blue Devils go from 14-9 down to up 18-14.
During that same span, UC went 1-for-7 with three turnovers and more than five minutes without a point after Reedy’s spinning shot with 6:10 showing in the quarter had given her team a 14-9 lead.
The Lady Tornadoes pounded the offensive glass in the opening quarter — collecting eight offensive rebounds — and forced five JC turnovers while taking a 12-6 lead.
Buckets by Kaleigh Bynum and Hudson sandwiched a Reedy 3-pointer during a run of seven straight points after UC had fallen behind 4-3.
The Union City cheerleaders were awarded the Spirit Award in postgame ceremonies.
There will be a welcome-home ceremony Sunday at 2 p.m. at the high school for the 1A state runnerup squad.
The Messenger will present complete and in-depth coverage of the Lady Tornadoes’ runnerup finish in Monday’s edition.