The MICDS Rams reached their third tournament championship game and captured their second title of the season.
MICDS defeated Ladue 66-57 to win the Lindbergh Tournament.
Earlier this season, the Rams fell 61-60 to Lutheran North in the Lutheran St. Charles Tournament. In December, the Rams won their own MICDS Holiday Tournament.
“Proud of our girls for getting into that championship game three times and for their success in all three,” MICDS coach Scott Small said. “This group has had a great season and our seniors have had a really remarkable high school career. I’m Extremely proud of them for their effort and what they have accomplished, but especially grateful for the example they set as strong, courageous, competitive young women.”
The Rams [15-3] hit the road Tuesday, Jan. 30 with a game at Sullivan.
Going into the tourney at Lindbergh, MICDS was coming off a tough 50-46 loss to Visitation.
“It’s been a good season overall, but we stubbed our toe in a rescheduled match-up with Viz that we ended up dropping by four points,” Small said. “I think that both frustrated the girls, but also motivated them going into the Lindbergh Tournament.”
MICDS opened with a 57-35 win over Marquette in the Lindbergh opener.
“We had a good night to open up the tournament. We are actually the only Class 4 school in the tournament, I think. Everyone else is Class 5,” Small said. “[It was a] very good effort from the girls. We did a good job of getting the ball inside and I think our pressure got to them a bit.”
In the semifinal, MICDS topped Francis Howell 45-37. Small said his Rams had a “very good effort” as a team in the victory.
“We struggled shooting a bit, but our defense kept us going. We were up 10-2 at the end of the first quarter, but both teams got their sea legs going after that,” Small said. “I was proud of the girls’ resilience and composure late.”
That win sent MICDS into the title game against Ladue. It was a fresh foe for MIDS.
“Surprisingly, [there’s] not much history at all,” Small said between the two schools. “We haven’t had them on our schedule for a few years, but will see them again [Feb. 13].”
Ladue has some quality wins this season. Small knew his squad would have to play well to prevail.
“We talked about handling their speed of play, controlling tempo and not getting outworked,” Small said.
MICDS did not get outworked.
“It was a very strong game from both teams, I thought,” Small said. “They came out early and we pulled them back in and then we took a couple of leads later in the first half and second half and they were able to reel us back in. We ultimately were able to establish a lead late and withstand their final attacks.”
MICDS led 28-23 at halftime. Small said he was satisfied with the first two quarters of play from the girls.
“It was a strong first half on both ends of the floor,” Small said. “You wouldn’t have known it was our fifth game in eight nights by the way our kids hustled and we were aggressive on the offensive end.”
MICDS held on in the second half to secure the victory.
“I think we handled their pressure well and were really active on the boards,” Small said. “I was proud of our kids for not backing down.”
What helped was MICDS converting 26 of 31 free throws opportunities. It was something Small said he was happy to see.
“We have been inconsistent from the line all year and our girls had made this their own goal, so that was really rewarding,” Small said.
Sophomore forward Jessica Brooks led with 24 points.
“Jessica can take over a basketball game when she is locked in and she was really flying, especially in the second half,” Small said. “She is just a sophomore and beginning to understand just how much potential she has, which is a scary thing for other teams.”
Senior forward Lindsey Parks added 23 points.
“[It was a] monster effort from Lindsay,” Small said. “She was frustrated that she didn’t shoot as well from the 3-point line as she usually does, but between her defensive effort and her tenacity on the boards, she was a force last night.”
Other Rams contributed as well in the win.
“Every given night, it is a different set of kids that lead,” Small said. “I was really proud of Landys Hughes’ work at point guard. She saw a ton of pressure and handled it with tremendous poise, which singularly contributed to our ability to attack offensively. Jordyn Brooks was also solid when we needed critical points, hitting a ton of crucial free throws.”
This was MICDS’ second year playing in the tournament. The Rams lost in the championship game to Jackson last season.
Small said the Rams were happy to win it this time.
“[They were] actually more excited than I have seen them in other tournaments,” Small said. “I think they recognized how challenging it is and how big of an accomplishment it was to come into this tournament and go 3-0 against really good squads.”
Brooks and Parks were voted to the all-tourney team.