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Lady Wolves grab gold, WVMS boys No. 3, versus FMS

West Valley Middle School's basketball girls beat a big rival, pulled an upset and won a county title — all in one fell swoop Thursday night.

But its top tourney player still had sympathy for her adversaries in navy blue.

“I know a lot of girls on their team ... it's hard to see them feel bad,” said Olivia Pfeifer, WVMS post and tourney most valuable player, about top-seeded Farragut after her No. 7 seeded Lady Wolves edged FMS 23-22 to win a championship Feb. 10, at Karns Middle School.

The prize, earned in dramatic fashion, was taking home the gold basketball trophy as 2011 James A. Ivey Jr. Memorial Knox County Middle School Basketball Tournament champs.

Pfeifer led West Valley with six points, followed by All-tournament point guard Sue-Yun Kim with five and All-tourney post Tamia McCormick scoring four.

Overcoming an 8-4 halftime deficit to tie the game 16-16 after three quarters, the Lady Wolves went ahead for good on Kenya Reeves' three-point basket with 5:15 to play. Kim found Pfeifer open for a lay-up, then McCormick scored down low in traffic with 1:25 left, putting WVMS up 23-18.

On the boys side, No. 3 seed West Valley beat No. 4 FMS 25-18 in the consolation game Thursday. (More on boys game later in this story).

Alex Comer, in his second season as Lady Wolves head coach who had never beaten Chris Cavalaris' Lady Ads (now 1-5), said his No. 7 seed “is an improved team, and it's a group that's got it in their heads that they didn't want to get beat,” adding team captains team captains Kim and Pfeifer are “great leaders, they lead by example.”

Susan Kenny had three points for the Lady Wolves, with Tiara Hollins adding two.

While West Valley ends its season 13-9 overall, 12-5 in all league games, regular season league champ FMS finishes 15-6, 14-2.

Cavalaris said missed lay-ups and free throws were costly, but “our defense was great in the first half.”

Lady Admirals All-tournament honorees were forward Miranda Burt, post Kristen Freeman and guard Annie McMurry.

Farragut forward Anna Woodford led her team with nine points versus WVMS. Burt scored eight and Freeman added five.

Individually this season, Cavalaris said, “Kristen carried our team both offensively and defensively, and as a vocal leader. And Miranda is just really quick, and she's a mismatch regardless of who you put on her.

“Annie, with her defense at the point of our zone, had her hands on pretty much any pass that came her way,” Cavalaris added.

Matthew Eggert, a 6-foot-2 All-county post at West Valley, helped his Wolves beat Farragut three times during the 2010-11 season.

Wolves head coach Chuck Comer said Eggert, an eighth-grader, “played well both offensively and defensively. Played within himself. Did a good job of challenging some shots.”

Austin Duncan and Griffin DeLong led West Valley (14-5) in scoring with six each. Eggert added five along with Jake Elkins, while Adam Fulcher had three.

“I thought Jared Davis’ on-ball defense and Adam Fulcher’s on-ball defense was good tonight,” Comer said about his guards.

DeLong, All-league post, “Is just a strong player,” Comer said. “Griffin did a good job defensively and rebounding. Griffin’s really developed his shot.”

Sam Cargo’s seven points led FMS (11-9). Alex Long added four, with two each from Will Doerger, Max Dresen and Dylan Jackson, plus one point from Josh Powell.


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