On Monday night, returning from Christmas Break, the prevailing thought was lets compete.
Creek Wood was hosting Summertown, a school known for its basketball prowess.
The Lady Eagles and the Eagles had defeated Creek Wood at Summertown earlier this year by thirteen and twelve respectively.
To be fair though, those games got closer late it really felt more like twenty or so point losses.
Therefore coming into Monday night you simply hoped Creek Wood would and could compete for thirty-two minutes.
They did so much more.
The Lady Red Hawks handed the 16-0 Lady Eagles their first loss on the year with a 58-55 win.
Meanwhile, the Red Hawks would one-up their female counterparts taking down the Eagles by twenty, 80-60.
It came down to coaching and the emergence of key players for both squads.
For the Lady Red Hawks, this time around they had Laura Nichols.
Now Nichols, while she did have sixteen points was not the game MVP.
She did, however, help open up the floor for them.
Bryanna Moore, stepped up like many had hoped she would throughout this season.
With Brianna Burgess scoring fourteen in the first half and twenty-one total alongside Nichols sixteen, Moore was able to find open space.
Lady Eagles star post Katie Burdette consisted was getting moved off the block defensively having to try and deny a drive lane to Nichols and Burgess.
Moore took advantage, finding her mid-range jumper and up and under lay-ups early and often.
Fourteen points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two key blocks on Burdette, Moore affected this game in every way possible.
It did not hurt that Head Coach Russell Wilson also did a fabulous job coaching his team-up.
Denying Burdette the ball and understanding that she alone would not and could not beat you.
Burdette had twenty-nine, but only three other players scored for Summertown.
Creek Wood shut down everyone else, not unlike what people would do to say the Bulls in the ’90s when they had Michael Jordan.
The Red Hawks would take care of business as well, thanks to a couple of key players rounding into shape, and some great coach by Charles Taylor.
Coming out like a team looking to send a message early, Creek Wood will lead 24-15 at the end of the first, and 34-25 at the half.
Summertown would come out in the second half with some worthwhile adjustments but to no avail.
By the end of the third quarter, it was a commanding 58-37 lead and the Red Hawks would coast the rest of the way.
Taylor and his team did exactly what he promised me they would after their loss at Summertown.
Deny the Burleson brothers drives to the basket and even up the foul discrepancy.
In the game at Summertown, Gavin and Greyson Burleson combined for forty-eight of their teams’ seventy-eight.
They had just twenty-five of their teams sixty in the game Monday.
Meanwhile, the foul shots discrepancy shifted dramatically.
At Summertown, the Eagles shot thirty at the charity stripe to Creek Woods six.
On Monday night, both teams shot eighteen.
Red Hawks were sixteen of those eighteen, while the Eagles were just eleven of eighteen.
The other thing that has played out since Creek Wood last faced Summertown, is their struggles with health and availability.
The Red Hawks had not had everyone available since their December seventh trip to Summertown and had not played a game period since December twenty-first.
It showed on Monday night.
Everyone got in on the scoring in the twenty-point blowout, but two Red Hawks stand out.
Due to the flu outbreak that ravaged the team throughout December, Eli Edmondson received significant playing time when he otherwise would not have.
As well, Braden Dawson was one of the few players who never got ill and therefore played exhaustive minutes in almost every game that month.
What that did was give Creek Wood an advantage down low with Dawson they did not have in the first matchup, as well as a very talented defender and passes in Edmondson come to find out.
Dawson had fifteen points on the night and went five for six at the line as he did a fantastic job getting a short benched Eagles team in foul trouble.
Edmondson, meanwhile, had just seven points but consistently guarded one of the Burleson brothers while on the floor and kept them in front of him.
He caused or facilitated several turnovers that led to easy Red Hawk Buckets.
It is no secret, this is the best either of these teams has looked this year.
Can these games be the foundation though?
That will be the question as the season now turns to a significant amount of district play.
Up next a home matchup with Harpeth Tuesday before going on the road Friday to Greenbrier.
As always Lady Red Hawks tip at six, followed by the Red Hawks fifteen minutes after. Pre-game at 5:45.