It came down to the final seconds, but the Bradwell Institute Lady Tiger junior-varsity girls’ basketball team held on Saturday to win the 21st annual Donell Woods Tournament.
The Lady Tigers beat Ware County, 26-25, in the title game.
Bradwell had a significant lead, but a series of fouls and a rally by Ware County ate away at the score during the second half of the game.
Lady Tiger JV coach Dana King said he knew Ware County would fight to the finish.
“It was tough. The other team was very tough and very aggressive, and they had a lot of heart and didn’t quit,” he said. “And we knew they wouldn’t. It’s always a hard contest against Ware, but we also hung in there, played tough and didn’t fold.”
But the coach added his girls showed grit as well, not backing away from the challenge.
“We have a saying, ‘Does your heart pump Kool-Aid, or does your heart pump blood?’ And it pumped blood today,” he said.
King said it felt great to earn the championship trophy once again.
“We won it three years in a row, lost it three years in a row and now we are back on a winning streak,” he said.
King said the team is comprised of several dedicated sophomores, and all of them are doing their best to fight for possible varsity spots in the future. He said the coaching staff has talked to the girls, letting them know how important off-season work is.
“It’s what you do during the off-season that dictates whether you make varsity,” he said. “And we have a good group who are dedicated in working hard … there is a lot of promise in this group.”
In the boys’ division, Wayne County defeated Glynn Academy for first place. The final score had not been posted by press time.
Long County, Bradwell, Ware County, Wayne County, Johnson High and Glynn Academy participated in the tournament.
The tournament was played at Lewis Frasier and Snelson-Golden middle schools and Bradwell Institute all day Saturday.