East Nashville makes fourth consecutive trip while Maplewood has first team in regionals
The Tennessee Region 5AA girls’ semi-finals is just like a wedding. The East Nashville Lady Eagles and Cheatham County Lady Cubs, they would be considered something old. Both teams advanced to Murfreesboro for the state finals last year. For the Lady Eagles, this is their fourth consecutive trip and all four years they advanced to play in Murfreesboro.
“Last week was an up and down week for us so I was glad to see our kids get together and decide to play with an overall effort,” said East Nashville head coach Missy Donaldson. We are a player led team more than a coach led team. As a coach that is good to see. The kids in the past did all that they could. This team right here we stress for them to relish every moment. They truly play with 100% effort. I am honored that I get to coach them.”
The Lady Cubs defeated East Nashville last year to win the region. Both teams then won sub-state games but lost in the quarterfinals of the state finals. Head coach Jim Gibbs has a veteran team at his disposal that is a virtual family affair. led by senior Abby Douglas. Her cousin Macy Douglas is also a senior and Abby’s sister Alli is a junior. Emmy Nelson and sister Eryn Nelson have been solid. The other set of sisters are Jessie and Jay Bumpus.
The Lady Eagles will on the White House Heritage Lady Patriots who will be making their fourth trip to the region semis in the last five years. Those three schools are the old. The Maplewood Lady Panthers are making their very first trip to the semi-finals. The Lady Panthers surprised the basketball world by sweeping East Nashville in the regular season to take the District 10AA title but fell to East in the tournament final. All season they have used their boys team’s recent success including a state championship in 2017 as fuel for their run. Their victory over Westmorland has made them one step closer to their goal. A berth to Murfreesboro for the state finals.
“You must seize the moment because you never know if you can make it back,” said head coach Tristin Williams. We have been focused on the task at hand all year we have a long way to go but our goal is to get to Murfreesboro this year.”
It won’t be easy for Maplewood because they must defeat the Lady Cubs who defeated them 60-35 on January 10th. Then they will have to defeat either their nemesis East Nashville or White House Heritage to get a home sub-state game.
The region games will be held at Greenbrier High School on Monday February 25th. The favorite Cheatham County and Maplewood will play at 6pm. The nightcap between Heritage and East Nashville will be at 7:30.