The Lady Blue Devils locked down the No. 1 seed for next week’s Region 7-AA tournament with a 75-47 win against host Armuchee to close out the regular season.
“It’s honestly the furthest thing from our minds,” Echols said. “If you come into a tournament looking ahead you’ll slip up in the beginning. Our focus without a doubt is focused on taking it one quarter at a time.”
The region tournament will be played at Rockmart High School beginning Monday with the championship game set for next Saturday.
Model finishes region play with a 12-2 record, with its losses coming to Dade County and Gordon Central, however the Lady Devils secured the top seed by beating Rockmart — which also has a 12-2 region record — twice in the regular season, handing the Lady Yellow Jackets their only region losses.
Echols pointed to a lack of focus on the part of her players as the culprit behind the team’s two region defeats.
“It just shows on any given night anybody can be beaten,” Echols said. “You have to come to play your best from start to finish. That’s the case with our losses, and credit to the other teams, but when you’re not focused those things happen. I think that we’ll just have to come into the region tournament regardless of who our opponent is, we’ve got to do what we do.”
The Lady Devils end the regular season on a hot streak earning their sixth straight victory with the win against the Lady Indians.
After leading the first period with a 21-15 score, the Lady Blue Devils allowed Armuchee to close the gap early in the second quarter when Olivia Moses and Madison Smith opened the quarter with back-to-back buckets to cut the Lady Blue Devils’ lead to 21-19.
Model responded by going on a 13-0 run, seven of which were scored on free throws, to put the Lady Devils ahead 39-21.
Megan Kent led the Lady Blue Devils (21-6, 12-2 7-AA) with 19 points while shooting 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Libby Upton added 18 points and went 6 of 8 from the free throw line. Montana Moats added 11 points, Madison Moats scored nine points on three 3-pointers, and Madison Harper chipped in nine points.
Moses led the Lady Indians (7-15, 2-12) with 10 points.
Friday’s win against Armuchee certainly showed the ups of the Lady Blue Devils’ season, but the year hasn’t been without its downs.
Before its current streak, the Lady Devils had dropped three straight games, and the team opened the season with a pair of defeats, but Model was able to overcome the setbacks on its way to becoming to the top team in the region.
“You just never know,” Echols said. “You never know what a season holds. I’ve been very pleased with this group. They bring a lot to the floor. They don’t want to be known for last year’s team. They want to be their own team, and that’s who they’ve become, and I’m proud of them for that.”