Facing a team that is your equal athletically is always a daunting task for any team. The Wilson Lady Rams found that out early as the Cleveland Lady Rams bothered Wilson all day with their full-court traps and overall athleticism, defeating the Lady Rams by a score of 46-41 on Feb. 25 at Rogers High School.
"I was proud of our effort, we put up a good fight and lost to a good Cleveland team today," said Lady Rams head coach Michelle Birge as they saw their season come to an end.
The undoing for Wilson on this day was turnovers – 13 in the first half alone. Cleveland would take advantage all afternoon long on the offensive end, as the talented Lady Eagles used their up-tempo game to wear down the Lady Rams, with Donneisha Webber leading the way with 15 points, eight rebounds and five steals on the afternoon.
"Their pressure got to us all day long," said Birge.
Wilson failed to establish any kind of consistent offense all afternoon long, with leading scorer Bethany Montgomery struggling from the field in going 2-for-9 against the cat-quick Cleveland defense. Freshman Dejah Rogers and junior Tia Briggs shared scoring honors with 11 points each.
Trailing 22-14 at the half, the Lady Rams fell further behind early in fourth quarter but put on one of their patented runs with good pressure defense of their own. Rogers and Kaysha Fox would lead a 9-0 charge to cut the Lady Eagle lead to 39-34 with just under four minutes left in the game. But Webber would hit two consecutive mid-range jumpers to salt away the win over Wilson.
After the game there were some heavy hearts in the Lady Ram locker room.
"We had great character all season long, it was a great season," said Birge.
As the Lady Rams were filing out of the locker room, senior Nina Caldwell reflected on her Wilson career. "This program has grown stronger these last four years and I've enjoyed this great ride with many great friends, Wilson Lady Rams basketball is here to stay."