BIRMINGHAM – Senior guard Antrice McCoy saw time winding down on the shot clock, drove the lane and, as she was fouled, threw up a prayer.
And, someone answered it.
After converting the old-fashioned three-point play, Lane College women’s basketball team had a six-point cushion against Kentucky State with 43 seconds remaining as the Lady Dragons downed the Thorobreds 44-42 to win their first-ever SIAC Conference Championship on Saturday evening on the court of the Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham Crossplex.
“I heard my teammates yelling ‘shot clock’ so I’m hesitating, I did a move and went by her and she fouled me and I just threw it up,” McCoy said. “I looked up and it was in the goal. That was it. It was a big play and that’s what got us that lead.”
McCoy finished with 11 points, three steals, and four rebounds. The other senior on the squad, guard Addie McNeely finished with a game-high 14 points. She added three rebounds, a block, a steal and an assist in the win. McNeely said she knew the Lady Dragons were going to win a championship, she just didn’t know it would be her senior year.
“I knew that we were going to get here eventually,” McNeely said. “We’ve been working really hard these past three games up till now. We deserved it. The team that worked the hardest got the W.”
Alexis Harris finished with seven points five rebounds and a game-high five steals. She said she knew the team was bringing home the trophy before the season even started.
“I am so happy,” Harris said. “I didn’t play last year and I told the president, I said, ‘This year I’m playing and we’re getting a ring and that’s what we did.”
Chasity Moore also is in her first season with the Lady Dragons. She said the struggles the team had earlier in the season were just preparation for this tournament.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Moore said. “We had a losing season so for us to come and play like we did in the tournament with no losses, I think our season prepared us for that. Didn’t anybody expect us to come out and play like we played and to come hungry? When we lost all those games it gave us something to fight for in the tournament. And that’s what made the difference.”
Both McCoy and McNeely were named to the All-Tournament team while their teammate, Porche’ Hannah was named Tournament MVP. For her, it was all about proving herself in her first year eligible for play.
“I’m speechless,” Hannah said. “I didn’t play last year and this year, I just came out and killed it. We were humble and we were hungry.”
Head Coach Kimberly Anderson was named the Outstanding Coach of the 2019 SIAC Championship Tournament. For her, all glory is given to God.
“From the beginning, I knew I had something special,” Anderson said. “But I also knew it was going to be a challenge.
“But, through my faith, I try to inspire them through my beliefs. And, by studying God’s words, I think that helped me. Because I’m not just dealing with young ladies on the court, I’m dealing with in life. So I think that He placed me in this position to lead these ladies.”
Addie McNeely, Lane
Antrice McCoy, Lane
Brooke Wallace, Kentucky State
Erica Jones, Kentucky State
Porche Hannah, Lane – Most Valuable Player of the Tournament
Kimberly Anderson – Coach of the Tournament