COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- Despite a season of doubt and uncertainty, the Lady Irish made history this weekend–reaching the state tournament for the first time in program history.
The Lady Irish shocked Father Ryan in the state semifinals to make it to the big dance.
While Knox Catholic handily beat Father Ryan 50-38, Hutchison was not going to let them waltz their way to a state title easily.
Senior transfer guard Jelia Greenelee opened the scoring by draining a shot from three, but Hutchison answered on the next possession.
The Sting buzzed from beyond the arc, knocking down 4-11 shots from that range to pull ahead. Hutchison played tough on defense and used size to their advantage, out-rebounding the Lady Irish 40-24 (22 total defensive boards).
Catholic trailed at the half 26-11 but as their namesake implies, the team never stopped fighting. The Lady Fighting Irish put up some big buckets late, shooting 40% from the three-point range in the second half to make it a 5-point game in the final 30 seconds. But Catholic ultimately fell short of the comeback, falling to the Sting 41-35.
Greenlee led the team in scoring with 11 points and six rebounds, while freshman Sydney Mains (daughter of head coach Travis Mains), contributed nine points. Their performances were rewarded at the end of the night, being named to the Division II-AA Girls’ All-Tournament Team.
The Fighting Irish (14-17, 5-1 Region) are a young squad, only losing Greenelee next season. While Mains says her workload will be tough to replace, averaging double-digits, he is confident he can coach the team back to the state tournament next year. He adds that this loss will only add fuel to their fire.