June 8, 2023

There is almost no more heartbreaking scenario than what we saw happen to the Lady Red Hawks Friday morning.

A 45-44 loss to Upperman that saw Creek Wood claw their way back, Brianna Burgess hit not one but two clutch threes with less than twenty seconds left, but time just ran out.

It was evident in all three of Upperman’s games in Murfreesboro they were the team with the most momentum.

They had a Miss Basketball Finalize in Brooklyn Crouch and ended up with the tournament MVP in Abigail Johnson on route to a Class 3A title.

It was Johnson who ulitametly was the difference against Creek Wood.

Upperman forced the ball to her in the second half both down low and when inbounding.

Her hands were like magnets, the Lady Red Hawks never able to deny her a pass in clutch moments.

That being said both Burgess and Laura Nichols made the all tournament team and for good reason.

Nichols had 17 to help push Creek Wood into the semifinal alongside Burgess twenty plus.

Then against Upperman, facing off against Crouch, who guarded Burgess the majority of the game, she seemed to be willing her team forward.

Twenty-Three points for Burgess in the semis including six with under fifteen seconds to nearly get her team a victory or a chance at OT.

Alas it just wasn’t meant to be, and tears were shed all around.

The Lady Red Hawks need not cry too much though, a possible repeat is highly likely.

Making the final four is not something you can predict.

Too much throughout a tournament or season has too go your way.

However, considering Creek Wood returns everyone except Bryanna Moore, and already have her replacement in the wings with Savannah Baker, things bode well for them.

Burgess and Nichols will be senior leaders, garnishing looks from across the state and nation.

Abby Owen will look to repeat a six man of the year level campaign once again.

Maybe most importantly, two freshman who started and helped achieve that final four berth, will be back.

Expect Alessia Nesbitt and Kendall Bryant to both take huge steps forward in their respective games.

A full season, two state tournaments games, and now a full offseason, will all bolster them greatly.

Again, predicting a third straight trip to Murfreessboro is impossible.

Another twenty plus win season, district and region champs, sub-state berth?

Those all feel like high possibilities next year.

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