After a blowout loss to Fortuna Saturday morning at Jaycee's Crescent City Tournament, the eighth-grade Azalea girls basketball team could have simply packed it in.
Instead, as Head Coach Lori Cooper said, andquot;The girls didn't give up and worked hard despite the beating they had taken earlier in the day.andquot; The reward for their hard work was a 28-25 win over West Cottonwood and a third-place finish in the AA division.
The tournament began for the Bruins on Friday night with a 56-44 victory over Weaverville.
In another instance of their never-give-up attitude, the Bruin took a tough situation and turned it into a positive.
andquot;We were down four at halftime, but the girls never gave up,andquot; Cooper said. andquot;They kept after it with full court pressure and kept working the offense and pulled it out in the fourth quarter.andquot; Sammie Young led the Bruins with 24 points and 13 rebounds versus Weaverville.
The first game Saturday, Cooper characterized as, andquot;...our worst performance of the season.andquot; After falling behind 17-5 at the end of the first quarter, the Bruins played right into Fortuna's hands, according to Cooper.
andquot;We panicked and threw the ball away far too many times,andquot; she said.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Bruins looked up at a 57-18 loss, but knew they would have a shot at redemption versus West Cottonwood.
In the third place game, West Cottonwood jumped out to an early and sizable lead, 12-5. Again, though, as Cooper said, the Bruins didn't let up.
andquot;The girls just kept clawing until they got themselves back into the game and held Cottonwood to two points in the second quarter,andquot; she said.
The Bruins also had a solid fourth quarter, outscoring Cottonwood 11-5, which enabled them to overcome the first half deficit and win the game 28-25.
Kaleen Bishop paved the way to Bruin victory with her nine points. Brandi Rodgers added eight and Sammie Young, another six.
Up next for the Bruins, a Thursday game at Sunset Middle School.