From the season’s opening night, when they lost a close game at home to Wallins, the Rosspoint Lady Cats have been chasing the Lady Devils.
They finally caught them Tuesday, on the final night of the season.
Rosspoint moved ahead in the second quarter of the championship game at James A. Cawood and never trailed again, knocking off the previously undefeated Lady Devils.
“We didn’t panic,” Rosspoint coach Chris Simpson said. “Early in the year we had leads, but where we were so young we panicked. Tonight, we held our composure and did exactly what we asked them to do.”
The 15-3 Lady Cats also benefited from big games by guard Abby Vitatoe and forward Emily Long. Vitatoe scored a team-high 10 points, including two clutch baskets in the second quarter when Rosspoint went on a 13-4 run to go up 20-13 at halftime.
“She hit some big shots. She does that in practice, and tonight was a good night for her to do it in a game,” Simpson said.
Long had a big game on defense and on the boards while adding seven points, including back-to-baskets in the second quarter when the Lady Cats built a lead. Dixie Ewing also caused problems for the Lady Devils inside, teaming with Long to force numerous misses in the paint.
“They got in foul trouble in earlier games, and that hurt us,” Simpson said. “They were able to stay in there tonight, and we were able to neutralize their bigs.”
Wallins battled back in the third quarter behind eighth-grade forward Morgan Blakley, who had three baskets to help the Lady Devils pull within four by the end of the period.
A basket by Ewing gave Rosspoint a five-point lead with 2:55 left, but Whitney Wilson scored back-to-back baskets to pull Wallins even with 2:04 to play.
After a timeout, Rosspoint’s Hailey Gaw scored off a drive to the hoop to put the Lady Cats ahead again, this time to stay. Jacey Lewis hit three of four free throws over the final 1:14 to give Rosspoint a four-point lead.
A putback by Blakley cut the deficit to two with 3.3 seconds left, but Rosspoint inbounded the ball and time expired.
It was the third county championship in six years for Simpson at Rosspoint. The Lady Cats beat previously unbeaten Evarts in 2011 and downed James A. Cawood in the 2013 finals.
Wilson scored 13 points and Blakley added 10 to lead the 19-1 Lady Devils.
Powered by 13 points from sixth-grade guard Jaylin Smith, who led the fifth- and sixth-grade team to a county title last week, Evarts captured third place with a 34-23 win over Cawood.
Amber Irvin scored 10 points to lead Cawood.
Rosspoint (36) — Emily Long 7, Abby Vitatoe 10, Dixie Ewing 3, Jacey Lewis 8, Kassy Owens 2, Hailey Gaw 6.
Wallins (34) — Whitney Wilson 13, Peyton Griffin 5, Hannah Wood 2, Kaitlin Amburgey 4, Morgan Blakley 10.
Evarts (34) — Haley Key 6, Carissa Preston 2, Paighton Freeman 2, Jaylin Smith 14, Aliyah Cloud 8, Alexis Branson 2.
Cawood (23) — Madison Cole 7, Amber Irvin 10, WIllis Gailey 2, Courtney Grubbs 2, Makayla Sizemore 2.
Reach John Henson at 606-909-4134