Junior Lady Eagles take regionals

Junior Lady Eagle CeCe Gilliam brings the ball down court during the district championship game in Crossett last week, which the Junior Lady Eagles won 39-20 over the Star City Pups. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)

Crossett’s Junior Lady Eagles hosted the district tournament and claimed the championship title last week.

Coach Shanae Govan said her girls played the best defense she’s seen from them all year.

“ I encouraged the girls to have championship emotions,  specifically in three areas — let mistakes go, give your best no matter what, play through adversity —I told them if we did those things we would be satisfied with the outcome,” she said.

The Junior Lady Eagles bested the Star City Pups 39-20 in the final game. Govan said that Crossett has never beaten Star City and her girls not only beat them, but were in the lead the entire night.

Govan said the Star City girls are coached by the “legend of girls basketball,” Becky Brown, who is a phenomenal teacher of the game, so she knew Star City would be prepared.

Eighth grader CeCe Gilliam led the Crossett offense by scoring more than half of their points with a total of 21. Jillian Chandler was also hot behind the three-point line. Govan said this group of junior high girls play and communicate well with each other on the court.

“If this group stays together, they’re going to do bigger things for Crossett basketball,” she said.

Govan said she never got the opportunity when she played at Crossett to celebrate a championship. Her first big championship win wasn’t until she reached the college level.

“But to be coaching back home and to have a group of young ladies like the ones I have, I’ll never in my life forget this moment,” Govan said. “I’m sure there will be more in my career to come, but this first one will always be the most special.”

The boys’ district tournament was also hosted in the Crossett arena. 

The Star City Bulldogs beat Jack Robey by a basket in double overtime with a final score of 39-37.

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