Bruins place third at Jaycees
December 16, 2008 11:00 pm

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, "The girls didn't give up and worked hard despite the beating they had taken earlier in the day."

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.

"We were down four at halftime, but the girls never gave up," Cooper said. "They kept after it with full court pressure and kept working the offense and pulled it out in the fourth quarter."

Sammie Young led the Bruins with 24 points and 13 rebounds versus Weaverville.

The first game Saturday, Cooper characterized as, "...our worst performance of the season."

After falling behind 17-5 at the end of the first quarter, the Bruins played right into Fortuna's hands, according to Cooper.

"We panicked and threw the ball away far too many times," 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.

"The girls just kept clawing until they got themselves back into the game and held Cottonwood to two points in the second quarter," 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.