MS Basketball: Madras, Groover finish undefeated run to title
By CHRIS GOLTERMANN
Kara Groover and the rest of the Madras Lady Eagles weren’t going to be denied a Coweta County Middle School Athletic League basketball championship this time around.
A season after falling short to four-time champion Lee Middle and current East Coweta freshman Ayanna Reid, Groover and her teammates capped off an undefeated season with an impressive 31-15 victory over the second-seeded Smokey Road Lady Wildcats on Friday at Evans Middle School.
Groover, an eighth-grade point guard who scored 22 points in last year’s championship loss to Lee, led a polished team effort from Madras that included holding Smokey Road scoreless during the opening quarter of play while dominating both sides of the glass while taking a commanding 14-5 lead into halftime.
Tytiana White and Nikki Gann combined for 12 points up front while helping turning missed opportunities into points for Madras.
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Groover finished with five points while helping distribute the ball among five other Lady Eagles scorers led by Charla Echols’ 8. Her offensive putback to open the fourth quarter pushed a 24-11 lead.
Madras’ advantage hit double-digits early after the team stormed out to a 7-0 lead off the opening tip and holding its opponent to one field goal for the first 12 minutes of the game.
Smokey Road’s Ayanna Harris didn’t get going until after halftime, scoring six of her team-high eight points for the Lady Wildcats in the final two periods.
But after pulling as close as a 16-9 deficit early in the third, Smokey Road’s offense was again put in neutral. A jumper by Echols and a basket by Leia Robinson for the first of her four points put the Madras lead at 11.
Robinson added two free throws with 4:22 left to make it 26-13 and shortly afterwards Groover fed White with a bounce pass down low to keep the lead at 13 in the final minutes.
White finished with seven points including three in both the first and fourth quarters. Gann added five, four of which came in the second period.
SCORING SUMMARY – Madras 31, Smokey Road 15
Smokey Road 0 5 6 4 — 15
Madras 7 7 8 9 — 31
Smokey Road (9-3) 15 – Maxy Gates 4, Ayanna Harris 8, Erin Ladd 1, Deja Kendall 2, Amaya Towns 0, Breanna Houston 0, Lamira Henderson 0.
Madras (12-0) 31 – Leia Robinson 4, Kara Groover 5, Karlee Groover 2, Nikki Gann 5, Charla Echols 8, Tytiana White 7, Emily Robinson 0.