The Ensworth Lady Tigers came alive in the second half on their way to a pivotal 49-39 road victory against regional rival Brentwood Academy on Friday night.
Now, the Lady Tigers (22-2, 12-1) and Lady Eagles (20-4, 12-1) are tied atop the D-II Class AA East & Middle Region standings heading into the final week of the regular season.
The victory improves the Lady Tigers’ winning streak to nine games in a row. Ensworth hasn’t lost since losing to Brentwood Academy at home back on Jan. 15, their only loss in regional play. Meanwhile the loss, the first defeat for the Lady Eagles since December, ends Brentwood Academy’s 11-game winning streak.
“Our girls are playing really focused basketball right now,” Ensworth coach Mary Taylor Cowles said. “No matter what happens, they don’t get too high or too low. They know we need to stay focused to achieve what we want to achieve.”
After a strong start and holding a small lead at the half, Brentwood Academy faded down the stretch and struggled to contain junior power forward Dontavia Waggoner and sophomore guard Kaiya Wynn. Ensworth’s power duo combined for 16 of the Lady Tigers’ 18 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers pull away late.
The Lady Eagles closed the gap with 2:48 remaining when Avery Kovick converted a layup and got fouled, completing a three-point play and cutting the Lady Tigers’ lead to 39-35 with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter. But Ensworth exploded for a 10-4 run down the stretch to seal the victory.
Waggoner finished with a game-high 18 points with Wynn adding 12 points in the victory. For Brentwood Academy, Maggie Brown led the way with 15 points. Waggoner, Wynn and Brown are all finalists for the TSSAA’s Miss Basketball Awards.
Ensworth (49): Dontavia Waggoner 18, Kaiya Wynn 12, McLean Whitson 9, Kamil Collier 6, Annabel Frist 4
Brentwood Academy (39): Maggie Brown 15, Blair Schoenwald 11, Millie Brown 5, Avery Kovick 4, Lauren Graham 3, Carleigh Wilson 1