T-Bird ladies take 5th at nationals

Aaron Webster

Coach Kori Stephenson and the ladies basketball team set out this season with lofty expectations.

The ladies finished their season in Peoria, Ill., taking home fifth place in the Division II national tournament.

The T-Birds finished the national tournament by winning three out of the four games they played.

In the first game of the tourney, Mesa defeated the St. Louis Archers 65-61.  

Alli Gloyd finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

 Kalasia Green chipped in with 17 points and two steals.

In their second contest, Green lit up the night with five three pointers, but that was still not enough as Mesa fell to the Louisburg Hurricanes from Louisburg, North Carolina, 65-63.  

Green finished with a game high 24 points.

The national tournament is a double elimination tournament, and entering the losers bracket, Mesa was determined they were not going to lose again.

Their next battle was against the Johnson County Cavaliers from Overland, Kansas.

 The T-Birds looked to have a secure victory in the second half, leading by as much as 11.

Johnson County chipped their way back and with 10 seconds left, had a chance to tie with a two or three to win the game.  

 With suffocating defense, the Cavaliers had to force up a bad shot, which was rebounded by Jenah Locke, sealing the victory for Mesa.

In the fifth place game, the lady T-Birds faced off against the  Kirkwood Eagles of Cedar City, Iowa.  

Mesa jumped out to an early 11 point lead but let the Eagles back in it by half-time, only leading by four, 30-26.  

All season long, Mesa has been able to hold on for close victories due to the leadership of Gloyd, Green and Jade Wilson.  

Combining for 48 out of the 58 total points, Mesa held strong and defeated the Eagles 58-56,  securing fifth place national.

The lady T-Birds finished the season winning 12 out of their last 15 games.

Mesa also won the Betty Jo Graber Sportsmanship Award for the team that showed the most sportsmanship throughout the tournament.

About Author

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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