The Lions scored the last 12 points of the game in a frantic rally to claim the Class 2A, District 10 crown.
With less than five minutes to go in their Class 2A, District 10 title game against CFCA, the Foundation Academy girls basketball team found itself down 38-27.
The 11-point deficit was the largest of the night, and the Lions were on the ropes. They weren’t out by any means, but time was drawing nigh and the CFCA home crowd was vociferous in their excitement.
Then came a timeout, and a moment for Lions head coach Krystal Thomas-Smith to get her girls composed.
“I’ve seen this team come back from a lot more, in a lot less,” Thomas-Smith said. “I think at one point I pointed and said, ‘Which one of these do you won’t? The trophy is right there — do you want it to say champion or runner-up? You choose.’ All they needed was one shot to go through the rim and we got that.”
What happened over the remaining four-and-a-half minutes of the game was a fury of offense from the Lions (13-7), who went on a frantic 12-0 scoring run to end the game that was kicked off by four-straight points from freshman guard Zoe Sedo. She would pick up six of the 12 points in the dying minutes — finishing the night with a team high of 18-points — while fellow freshman Chelsey Bryant picked up 15 points.
Outside of the wild, late rally for the Lions — which was the largest scoring run of the night for either team — it was mostly a back-and-forth affair between the Eagles (13-5) and the Lions, with teams stayed within a point or two, before the Lions used a small run to finish the first half up 20-16.
But out of the halftime break the Eagles went on a small run of their own — scoring six-unanswered points to go up 23-22, before CFCA began to pull away going into the final quarter — thanks in part to a 13-point scoring night from freshman guard Talia Kemp, and 12 points from Aubrey Satterfield. Then, as if a flip switched, things changed dramatically as the Lions went on their rampage to claim their second-straight district title.
“I’m excited,” Thomas-Smith said. “I feel like I played the game — I’m sweaty, I’m hot. I’m super excited for the girls — I’m just so excited for the work that they have put in this entire season. I can’t be more happy for them for winning this.”
With the win the Lions will now take on Trinity Christian Academy in the Class 2A, Region 3 quarterfinals Thursday, Feb. 11, while the Eagles will face Calvary Christian Academy on the same day. If both teams win their respective match ups, the Lions and Eagles will once again compete against one another in the regional semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 16.