Feb. 12—The Crossroads Christian Lady Colts dropped their conference title bout 73-30 to Cresset Christian Academy after winning seven straight to get there.
The Colts will wrap up the year with a 15-5 record and finish as the runners-ups to Cresset in the Mid-Carolina Conference.
Limiting transition points was the script for the Colts coming in, and it was working early. Forcing the Eagles to run half court offense, Crossroads put up a valiant effort in the first quarter, holding Cresset to a two-possession game. But that all changed in the second period. The physicality of 6-foot-2 center, Kyndoll English, was completely unmatched and overwhelmed the Colts on the offensive glass.
The offensive rebounds were the backbreaker for the Colts, spearheaded by English at the end of the first half.
"There's some things you can't just teach, and that's size," said Crossroads head coach Ed Moore.
After crusading her team's offense in the first half and doing her best to hold it down defensively, Crossroads star Elyssa Phillips was exhausted.
"They all played hard," said Moore. "That first half, we competed well. The last two minutes of that half, I wish we could've gotten that back."
The mammoth post-presence of English was the difference-maker, at one point boxing out Phillips for an easy putback — there was no one the Colts could throw at English to stop her. The Eagles pulled away with a 25-9 shellacking in the second quarter including an English three pointer from the top of the key that she banked off glass.
"[English] is solid, she's the engine of their team," said Moore. "Elyssa did a great job, it's a lot to ask of her to guard, score, and distribute."
After the slow first quarter Cresset was rolling. Kickstarted by the robust performance from freshman Lamyiah Jarrett, the Eagles went into the break leading 38-20. With an 18-point lead in tow, it was much of the same in the second half. The Lady Colts continued to see good ball movement, but Phillips went 1-10 from outside and shot just 23% (5-22) on the night from the floor.
"She didn't make shots like she wanted to. But when she plays that hard, something's got to give, and I'd rather it be her shooting than her effort," said Moore.
With the shooting woes of their star player, it was difficult for the Lady Colts to find a foothold in the second half. Phillips shot decently on two-pointers given who was in front of her, and went 4-4 from the line, but her struggles from outside hurt her team's chances of a comeback.
After the game, during the conference awards ceremony, Phillips was visibly upset with the outcome of her performance. The sophomore was still processing the loss when her name was called to receive all-conference honors.
After the game, her coach encouraged her to keep her head up after a successful season.
"Rome wasn't made in a day," said Moore.
As the sixth-seed in the state tournament next week, the Lady Colts will face the winner of Kerr-Vance Academy and Albermarle on Thursday after a first-round bye.
STATSElyssa Phillips (So.) — 15 PTS (1-10 3FG), 7 REB, 8 TO
Leanna Wimsatt (So.) — 9 PTS, 2 REB, 7 AST
Trinity Jefferson (Fr.) — 24 PTS
Kyndoll English (Fr.) — 22 PTS