The backspin on her shot generally isn’t all that great, Tiffanie Moore said, but it sure looked plenty sweet last Friday night.
The Alcoa High School junior drained a 3-pointer from the right wing with 3.6 seconds remaining, and the Lady Tornadoes made it stand up for a 47-45 win over rival Maryville at Alcoa. With the win, Alcoa (17-11) has now collected victories over Heritage, William Blount and the Lady Rebels in the same season for the first time in many years.
“If we cab take that momentum and put it into our district, we’ll come out on top,” Moore said.
The Lady Tornadoes next meet Kingston in the District 4AA tournament on Thursday night at Scott High School at 8 p.m.
“We talked a little bit about building (this season),” Alcoa coach Tonya Gay said. “It had been so long since Alcoa had beaten them.”
The Tornadoes, who completed an Alcoa sweep with a 57-43 win over Rebels on Friday, open district tournament play on Saturday at 8 as the league’s top seed.
The District 4AAA tournament began Tuesday at William Blount, with the host Lady Governors advancing to the quarterfinal round with a 52-49 win over Catholic. Heritage’s Lady Mountaineers saw their season come to a close with a 54-43 loss to Bearden.
A decidedly young Lady Tornado team — point guard Kylie Russell is the lone senior — enters postseason on a high note, Moore’s big shot a significant reason why. She wasn’t the first option on the play, but she was more than ready when the opportunity presented itself.
“We were setting up for (junior) Kylee Hayes in the corner,” Moore said, “but no one was open. I said, ‘Just give me the ball. I want to hit the last shot.’”
Normally the backspin on her jumper has very little rotation at all, Moore said.
“That one had a ton,” she said.
Indicative of just how far the Lady Tornadoes have come this season is best capsulated in last Friday’s final three seconds. Both fists clinched, Moore ran the floor wild in celebration after her big shot, many of her Lady Tornado teammates joining her.
Her first words to the Lady Tornadoes after they came to the bench during an ensuing Maryville timeout was, “‘Calm down,’” Gay said. “There were almost four seconds on the clock. There still was some basketball to be played.”
Other games this weekend:
•Thursday - Girls — Bearden vs. Maryville, 6:30 p.m.; Lenoir City vs. William Blount, 8
•Friday - Boys – Farragut/William Blount winner vs. Catholic, 6:30; Lenoir City/Heritage winner vs. Maryville, 8
•Saturday - Girls — Bearden/Maryville winner vs. Farragut, 6:30; Lenoir City/William Blount winner vs. West, 8