The Tattnall Square girls came up with a remarkable half of basketball considering the lousy circumstances they faced.
But the damage was already done.
Stratford played smothering defense and built a huge lead, which helped it overcome a rough third quarter in a 41-16 win over Tattnall in the GISA Region 2-AAA championship game Friday night at Mount de Sales McAuley Hall.
Taylor Reese scored 19 points to lead Stratford. Liz Wainwright led the injury-depleted Trojans with seven points.
The Eagles (25-3) have won 23 of their past 24 games.
It feels great because none of us have won a region title, Reese said. Weve worked hard, and it feels good. Hopefully, we can cut down some more nets.
The Eagles scored 25 straight points and led by 27 at the halftime, allowing them to weather a cold stretch to start the second half.
Tattnall played without leading scorer Kendra Green, who suffered a likely season-ending knee injury in the semifinals Thursday. Tattnall lost another starter to a knee injury Friday when Kendall Hardy slammed hard into the padding behind one of the baskets.
The Trojans already appeared shell-shocked without Green, struggling to find a rhythm on offense. The Hardy injury appeared to take an additional emotional toll.
We were definitely rattled, and they played great, Tattnall head coach Todd Whetsel said.
Stratfords halfcourt defense didnt allow many open looks in the opening half, and the Trojans didnt do a great job of taking care of the ball.
The Eagles post players, Bonnie Jarrard and Reese, scored 19 of Stratfords 29 first-half points, with most coming on shots outside the paint. Lucy Bobbitt added a pair of 3-pointers and eight total points in the first half.
I thought in the first half, they could not have carried out the game plan any better, said Stratford head coach Ed Smith, who knows the toll of injuries well after losing starter Sarah Farriba to a torn ACL early in the season. (Tattnall) has a great assortment of athletes, and they can do different things, so you have to defend them all differently, and I thought our players did a great job.
Tattnall made its run in the third quarter, scoring the first 12 points of the second half to nearly cut the Eagles lead in half. Stratford struggled against Tattnalls pressure defense and couldnt convert any of the open looks it did get.
Because of depth issues, Tattnall had to stay with mostly the same group for the second half, and Whetsel said they started to wear down.