The Watauga Storm 8th grade girls team capped off their season by playing in their third straight championship game at the first annual Lady Rebels Hoop Classic in Lincolnton, N.C. The Storm finished their season with a 9-12 record. They finished strong by winning seven of their last ten games. The Storm won the Alleghany
tournament, and they finished in second place in two other tournaments.
In the first game of the tournament the Storm defeated the Mount Holly Stars 35-33 in overtime. Mackenzie Thompson nailed the game-winning shot with three seconds left. Madie Darner picked up the assist on that play. The game was a close affair throughout as neither team could build much of a lead. The tightly contested game was tied at 16-16 at halftime and the game was tied at 31-all at the end of regulation time. Thompson led all scorers with 14 points. Vanessa Saufley had nine points; Darner finished with eight points and Maddisen Robinson and Kaylee Cottom each had two points.
The Storm lost to Wilkes Flight 42-33 in the second round. The Flight is actually an eighth-grade team associated with Wilkes Central High School. And the Flight had a freshmen that was allowed to play in the tournament. And like their first-round game, the Storm was involved in a nip-and-tuck affair against the Flight. The game was tied at 16-16 at halftime before the the Flight pulled away late in the second half. The Storm was led in scoring by Darner who had 14 points. Thompson had seven points and Makenzie Robinson had five points.
The Storm, which was seeded third in the tournament, defeated Mount Holly for a second time in the third round. The Storm was the low-scoring affair, 23-19. The Storm, which went more than seven minutes without scoring a point, rallied from an 18-15 deficit with five minutes left to play. Darner and Thompson led the team in scoring with seven points apiece. Cottom had five points and Reese and Saufley each scored two points.
Unfortunately, the shooting woes followed the Storm into the championship game. The Flight defeated Watauga 50-31 in the finals. The Storm was led in scoring by Darner who finished with ten points. All seven Storm players scored. Reese and Thompson each scored six points apeice in the loss.