Keith Peoples saw that though would be all right for the Schlarman Academy seventh-grad girls team for their IESA Class 7A title game from the start.
“In the first game of the tournament, they seemed to be tense,” Peoples said. “But as the tournament went on, they were more relaxed.
“I was more surprised today with how much more relaxed they were going into this game and they showed maturity and they were a team.”
The Hilltoppers’ relaxation was evident during Thursday’s game as they broke the press of Lincoln West-Lincoln Broadwell en route to a 35-17 win and the first Class A title for the school.
“We handled their press very well and that is a testament to our guard play because they kept the ball going and held the ball for us,” Peoples said. “Defense has always been a part of our game and we played great on defense.”
On defense, after giving up seven points in the first quarter, the Hilltoppers did not let the Wolverines get much more offense, holding them to three in the second, two in the third and five in the fourth quarter.
Anaya Peoples led the way for Schlarman with 14 points, while Arieal Scott had eight and Janie Gross had seven.
Along with what the team did on the court, David Peoples appreciated what was going on off the court.
“Our fans, our parents and our administrators have been great all season and our fans were a sixth man for us today,” Peoples said. “Every time we had a tough call against us or committed a turnover, they were here for us.”
The Hilltoppers end the season at 21-0 and the players move on to eighth grade, but Peoples said they will still be hungry for next season.
“I am looking forward to next season because they are very hungry for more success,” Peoples said. “If we could have practice today, they would be there.”