STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
CPA coach Becky LeGate had her doubts last summer.
But the Christ Presbyterian Academy players surprised her with a 51-42 win over visiting Franklin Road Academy in a Division II-A District 3 semifinal on Friday night.
“No disrespect, but if you had told us we would be playing for a district championship in June, even Christmas, I would have, like, laughed,” LeGate said. “It’s a testament to how far this group has come and how they’ve really gelled together.”
CPA (20-7) will host Providence Christian Academy in the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Blessed with two 6-foot-2 post players, LeGate ran a double-post offense during her first eight years at CPA.
The Lions have smaller players now so they switched to a guard-oriented offense in the summer.
“We totally changed our offense, so it’s taken us a while,” LeGate said. “All that you saw at the end: the cuts, the back cuts. That’s a long process to learn.”
Guard Carrington Washburn scored 19 points, leading CPA to its seventh straight win. Libby Long and Emmaline Bartlett added 10 points each.
“It took a little while to get used to it because we’ve started moving a lot more,” Washburn said of the new offense. “Backdoors and stuff like that, so I think it’s been really good for us to switch it up a little bit because it works really well with everybody. I think we’ve got the hang of it.”
CPA won for the second time in three games against FRA.
The Lady Lions hit 12 of 16 foul shots in the fourth quarter to hold off the Lady Panthers.
FRA (15-9) will play BGA (11-15) in the third-place game at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Zharia Hutchinson led the Lady Panthers with 19 points and Ryan Pierce added 10.