Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Varsity Women's Basketball Season Wrap Up

Don't Judge a Book by it's  Cover

The Varsity Women's Basketball team shattered all preseason expectations for the 2014-15 season. Before the beginning of the season, many people believed that the Lady Crusaders would struggle throughout the season and not be able to compete in conference play. Despite the negative preseason buzz the Lady Crusaders played with heart all throughout the season and finished with a 16-5 record.

Crusader players celebrate after a close victory over Cape Fear Academy.
The Crusaders dominated throughout the first part of the season by winning nine out of their first ten games. The Ladies' success did not slow down once conference play heated up. Conference play, however did bring tougher competition that challenged the Crusaders. HCA's second loss of the season came in a heartbreaking, 46-42, loss at Fayetteville Christian. The Lady Crusaders bounced back by winning their next five games including a 44-39 victory over Fayetteville Christian. The Crusaders closed out the regular season with a loss on senior night to the Fayetteville Academy Eagles. HCA sought out revenge on the Eagles by defeating them 32-27 in the semifinals of the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament. After the Lady Crusaders' exhilarating win over the Eagles, HCA was outmatched by a familiar foe, Fayetteville Christian, in the conference tournament championship game.

The Lady Crusaders went on to earn the #11 seed in the NCISAA Division II State Playoffs where they faced off against the #6 seeded Asheville Christian Academy. HCA came up short against the Lions ending their season early.

Despite the team's loss early in the playoffs, the Lady Crusaders claimed the title of the Coastal Rivers Conference Regular Season Runners-up as well as the Coastal Rivers Conference Tournament Runners-up.

Margaret Clark rises up for a layup.
The Crusaders were led all year by sophomore Emily Benton who averaged just under 14 points per game. Senior Margaret Clark improved her game throughout the year by contributing on the offensive end with 10 points per game. As a team the Crusaders averaged scoring 41 points per game. The Crusaders had many players receive honors throughout the season. Emily Benton, Margaret Clark, Natalie Hardin, and Mikaela Stroud were named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Conference Team. Emily Benton and Mikaela Stroud were also named to the Coastal Rivers Conference All-Tournament Team.

The Lady Crusaders will look to replace many key seniors ( Jessi-Kate Batts, Margaret Clark, Rylie Evans, Natalie Hardin, and Ashley Usher) next year as they hope to contend for a conference title as well as a bid into the NCISAA State Playoffs. 

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