MINT HILL, NC – The Independence Lady Patriots go undefeated 12-0 to win the 4A Conference 59 regular season championship. This is the first girls basketball team from Independence to accomplish this feat in the schools long history.
They achieved it in style against a tough and determined opponent from their arch rival the Butler Bulldogs who were motivated to give Indy their first conference loss prior to the playoff championship tournament starting this coming week.
In the opening period Indy started all their seniors on “Senior Night” who played the first 5 minutes of the contest. The ladies played head-to-head and held their own against the Lady Bulldog starters. However, in the final minute Butler took a 5-point advantage led by PG Brooklyn Saunders who scored 8 points in the period. Joy Park drilled a 3-pointer, and Jessica Ralda added 5 points for the visitors. While Jui’lun Brimmer led the charge for Indy with 6 points. The period ended with Butler up 17-12.
In the second period Indy began their battle back when sharp-shooting Kamryn Kitchen swished two consecutive 3-pointers for Independence. The teams pushed the ball up and down the court at a rapid pace, Ralda and Saunders kept scoring, then Chloe Ross contributed 4 points with some tough work under the boards battling Lilly Gorum and Chloe Moss for Independence. When the dust settled Butler held a slim two-point advantage 32-30.
After the first half, in the third period Indy started to take charge of the game. They controlled the tempo and took the lead for the first time in the contest. Hannah Moss drilled a 3-pointer, Chloe Moss added two baskets down low inside the paint, Lola Cabaniss-Ali added 5 points with some good work around the perimeter, and the momentum switch occurred in Indy’s favor. In fact they should have tallied more points with many scoring opportunities around the basket, but the ball would not drop through the net. However, the period ended with Indy leading 44-43.
In the final period Indy outscored the Lady Bulldogs 12-9 to seal the victory and the regular season conference championship with a hard-fought 56-52 win. It was a barnburner until the end, Indy ahead 56-49, Ralda drilled a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds remaining. However, it was not enough to overcome Indy’s 7-point edge prior to the basket.
Kamryn Kitchen scored 14 on four 3-pointers, Juu’lun Brimmer 12, Chloe Moss 9, Cabaniss-Ali 7, Hannah Moss 5, Jessica Worthey 5, Gorum 3, Oliva Clark 1. For Butler Saunders scored 17, Ralda 15, Ross 11.