MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - It was a tough decision, but ultimately, Tiffany Lewis chose to sacrifice individual success for the potential of team success.
Lewis spent three seasons at East Hamilton High School and is the Lady Hurricanes' second-leading scorer in the four-year history of the school with 1,090 points. The Lady 'Canes reached back-to-back sectional games in her time and went back for a third consecutive season this year, but Lewis transferred to Murfreesboro Riverdale before the season.
"I still talk to some of the girls on the team," she said of East Hamilton. "I heard they had a real good season."
Lewis was tentative when her mother, Tara Short, first mentioned the possibility of moving to Murfreesboro for a job, but she perked up when the idea of playing at Riverdale was brought up. She had previous friendships with Riverdale players Tyisha Petty and Olivia Jones.
Lewis, who was once committed to NCAA Division I member Georgia State, said it didn't take long to make the transition to Riverdale. She said she'll start taking more recruiting visits after the season ends.
"I wasn't sure how I'd fit in because I didn't know anybody outside of the basketball team, but actually it took less than a week," Lewis said. "I'm extremely happy now, and I'm glad I made the move here this year."
For a team recently ranked first nationally by ESPN, Lewis is fifth both in scoring (7.5) and steals (1.5) per game.
Lewis had a game-high and season-high 25 points Wednesday as the Lady Warriors defeated Brentwood 83-37 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament at the Murphy Center.
After 26 games of scoring in double figures her junior season at East Hamilton, she has had nine such games this season.
"You could tell she was used to having the ball in her hands a lot and taking a ton of shots before, but if you look at our team, we share the ball a lot," Riverdale coach Cory Barrett said. "Tiffany made the adjustment around Christmas and has been developing the game more to what we do at Riverdale.
"Today just shows that anybody on our team can step up. We always just take what the defense gives."