ATHENS, Tenn. - McMinn Central forward Elizabeth Massengil has become used to the attention opposing teams have paid to teammate and Class AA Miss Basketball finalist Jenna Adams. At times, the sophomore has thrived on it.
Wednesday night's Region 3-AA championship game was a prime example.
Massengil had 17 points in the first quarter and 23 at the half. Adams picked up the slack in the second half with 14 points as the Chargerettes claimed the region title with a 70-34, mercy-rule victory over East Hamilton at McMinn County High School.
Region 3-AA Championship at McMinn County
MCMINN CENTRAL 70, EAST HAMILTON 34
East Hamilton 3 10 13 8 - 34
McMinn Central 25 14 23 8 - 70
East Hamilton (34) - Caudle 3, Lewis, Alexis Adams 10, B. Moon 3, Walls 6, Belle 2, Newton 5, Ivins, Fager, Coleman 1, K. Moon 3, McElvain, Dixon, Zachary 1.
McMinn Central (70) - Wells 2, Jenna Adams 23, Johnson, S. Williams, Casteel 3, Young 3, Elizabeth Massengil 28, Guradiola 7, Cowart, Giles, Torbett 4, M. Williams.
3-point goals: East Hamilton 3 (B. Moon, Newton, K. Moon); McMinn Central 6 (Adams 3, Casteel, Massengil, Guradiola). Records: McMinn Central 30-1; East Hamilton 22-11.
All-Tournament: Stephanie Qualls, Emily Wilson, Polk; Brittany McKinney, Alexxus Sturkey, Tyner; Tiffany Lewis, Alexis Adams, Jaiton Walls, East Hamilton; Caitlyn Casteel, Elizabeth Massengil, Jenna Adams (MVP), McMinn Central.
The 30-1 Chargerettes will host Livingston Academy, who lost the Region 4-AA final in overtime to Cannon County, Saturday in a Class AA sectional contest, while East Hamilton (22-11) will travel Cannon County.
Masengil finished with a game-high 28, while Adams, the tournament most valuable player, added 23.
"I knew they would probably pay a lot of attention to Jenna," Massengil said. "We had played them a couple times before, so I just tried to find my way to the open spot, and my teammates found me at the right time to where I could turn and score."
Massengil's scoring output helped McMinn Central jump out to a 33-3 edge early in the second quarter. They led 39-13 at the half, but the final few minutes of the period weren't to coach Johnny Morgan's liking.
"I think that we had a little mental lapse those last few minutes," he said. "It's hard, though; how do you focus at that point?
"I really thought we coasted the last few minutes."
Adams hit a pair of 3s in her big third quarter, as McMinn Central's ability to consistently break pressure led to wide-open looks for the senior.
"Elizabeth and Jenna are both competitors, but our guards and their ability to hit 3s have played a big part in our success," Morgan said. "Because the guards can hit shots, that opens up room for the posts to score."
Alexis Adams was the only Lady Hurricane in double figures with 10.