MURFREESBORO — The successful season of the Community Viqueens that saw the Viqueens reach the final four in Class AA came to a close Friday night as the defending champion Westview Lady …
MURFREESBORO — The successful season of the Community Viqueens that saw the Viqueens reach the final four in Class AA came to a close Friday night as the defending champion Westview Lady Chargers used an airtight defense and timely three-point shooting to defeat Community 43-27 in a TSSAA state semifinal matchup.
While the Viqueens were able to keep Lady Charger Miss Basketball finalist Jada Harrison at bay for the middle two quarters, the hot three-point shooting of Jillian Brigance helped to expand the Westview lead and created a margin Community could not recover from.
Both teams utilized effective 2-3 zones which made points hard to come by.
With both teams struggling to score in the first two minutes, Haley Mitchell drew first blood with a trey at the 5:22 mark to give Community (27-7) a 3-0 lead.
A trey by Anna Haskins and a field goal by M.J. Simmons gave the Viqueens their final lead at 8-6 before the Lady Chargers went on a 5-0 run to take an 11-8 advantage after one quarter.
Simmons scored four points to lead the Viqueens in the second quarter as Community could only manage seven points.
But the Viqueen defense was up to the challenge and held the Lady Chargers to nine points as Westview (32-1) used five points from Brigance to take a 20-15 lead into the intermission.
"That zone is tough. That's how they play, kind of slow," Coach Cody Pierce of the Viqueens said. "We just kind of went with it."
"We knew it would keep us in the game it we could make shots, just like they did," Pierce added. "And we did for awhile."
The Viqueens held Harrison scoreless in the third quarter, but Brigance scored eight points as the Lady Chargers outscored the Viqueens 9-6. Simmons netted all six points to keep Community close, but a Brigance trey at the buzzer gave Westview a 29-21 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
McCall Sims scored eight points and Harrison added six as the Lady Chargers pulled away in the quarter. Simmons, who scored all 12 Viqueen points in the second half, scored six in the fourth but it wasn't enough as Westview reached the championship game.
Brigance led the Lady Chargers with 16 points while Harrison added 14.
Simmons led Community with 18 points as three Viqueens scored in the contest.
The Lady Chargers were 8-of-10 at the free throw line while the Viqueens were a perfect 4-of-4, but Westview had an advantage from outside the arc with a 9-of-25 performance from 3-point land while Community was 3-of-18.
The contest marked the final game in a Viqueen uniform for Simmons, Mitchell, Zoey Dixon, Addison Brothers, Shelby Cawthon, and Jacey Collier.
Pierce, Simmons, and Mitchell talked about the legacy the Viqueens have created.
"All these seniors have a lot of fight," Pierce said. "They've been that way since they've walked in the door."
"I'm so grateful," Simmons said. "We've been playing since kindergarten."
"It's been amazing for 13 years," Simmons added. "We've worked hard for this and I've loved every second of it."
"It's been great playing basketball with my best friends," Mitchell said. "There's no better place to end it than here."
"They make a lot of sacrifices to put this jersey on," Pierce said. "It means a lot to be a Viqueen."
Mitchell felt the success of the Viqueens and the work of the seniors would be a springboard for future Community teams.
"Those girls in the locker room know how hard we worked," Mitchell said.
"They know they have to put in the work to get where we are."
Westview 11 9 9 14 — 43
Community 8 7 6 6 — 27
Westview: Jillian Brigance 16, Jada Harrison 14, McCall Simms 8, Kylee Alexander 3, Mary Anna Chester 2, Tinsley Parkins, Halle Trevanthan.
Community: M. J. Simmons 18, Haley Mitchell 6, Addison Brothers, Zoey Dixon, Shelby Cawthon, Anna Haskins 3.
3-Point goals: Westview (9): Brigance 4, Harrison 2, Simms 2, Alexander; Community (3): Mitchell 2, Haskins.
Halftime score: Westview 20, Community 15.