With a combined 14 freshmen and sophomores on their rosters, the Chattanooga Christian and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe girls' basketball teams will be a bit unpredictable this season.
The two met in Wednesday's opening game of the Times Free Press Best of Preps Tournament at Arts & Sciences and kept the crowd and their coaches guessing to the end of CCS's 42-39 win. The Lady Chargers (3-6) avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Warriors (7-4) by scoring the final four points after LFO had taken its only lead of the game with 2:46 remaining.
"We're a very young team, with three seniors and one junior, and this is really the first time they've been in real pressure situations," first-year CCS coach Laura Cottrell said. "They're still learning what to do and how to win, but they've come a long way since we played LFO earlier."
The Lady Chargers committed 23 turnovers in the second half and the Lady Warriors shot well under 30 percent for the game, including several misses from inside five feet. The one constant in the game was the presence of CCS center Jessica Fikkert, who blocked six shots and altered many more.
After Elizabeth Oliver's free throw gave LFO its lone lead, Mary Sabourin tied the game with a free throw and sister Meg Sabourin put the Lady Chargers ahead on a putback with 58 seconds to play. Fikkert then made the game's crucial play with a block on a short shot by Jessica White with 14 seconds left.
"We made a lot of little mistakes, but we have five freshmen and two sophomores out of 12 players, so we're going to make a lot of those," LFO coach Dewayne Watkins said. "Hopefully, though, this will make us better in the future."
Meg Sabourin led CCS with 14 points, with Fikkert adding 10, while White topped LFO with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight steals.