Girls hold off Lady Rams led by youth

KNOXVILLE — Having her head coaching skills, and perhaps her patience, tested with Webb Lady Spartans varsity basketball this season, Shelley Collier has been going to battle with the youngest varsity team she’s coached in her long, successful career on campus.

The result has been a 9-17 record entering the week, but Webb did pick up win No. 9 at Grace Christian Academy after holding off the Lady Rams 59-55 Friday night, Jan. 31.

Maddie Ladd, freshman forward, scored 20 points to lead the winning effort, followed by Sheelove Knowles, sophomore wing, with 18 and Shae Berry, sophomore guard, scoring 10.

“Sheelove Knowles, I feel like she played one of her best games for us tonight,” Collier said. “Without her on the floor I’m not sure we would have won this one.”

Emery Green added six points, while Lily Hirsh nailed a three-point basket and Kristen Sampson scored two.

“I’m really proud of our kids, the guts they showed down the stretch,” Collier said. “... To come from behind and not play well, but still get that win, I’m proud.

“We were lucky to win; credit goes to Grace,” added Collier, whose Lady Spartans had to deal with Chloe Diggins’ game-high 30 points.

Also dealing with Grace’s match-up zone defense, “We threw it all over the gym,” she said. “... It wasn’t some of our players’ best nights, but when you’ve got a young team that’s what happens.

“I thought coming into this game we were a much-improved team, but they had played us a tough game at our place.”