WIESBADEN, Germany - The sixth-seeded Bitburg Barons pulled off the upset in the girls Division-II championship game Saturday by downing the top-seeded favorite Ansbach Cougars, 49-39.
The Barons rode the hot fourth-quarter hand of senior Michelle Morrison, who scored eight of her 10 points in the final frame. Bitburg maintained a slim one-point lead after the third quarter before pulling away in the final 8 minutes to secure the championship throne.
Ansbach was hoping to ride a hot hand of their own after the Cougars’ junior guard Chealsy Reaves nailed a pair of three-pointers early in the game.
Unfortunately for Ansbach, Reaves was quiet after that, other than getting whistled for a technical foul, and missed a series of open shots.
Bitburg’s top scorer on the day, senior guard Atyia Brigman, led her team’s title effort with 21 points. The versatile Brigman, who also swiped 12 steals on the day, gave her team a bit of a scare when she was whistled for her fourth foul at a crucial moment in the game.
Brigman, who came back in after a two-minute sit, said she wasn’t sweating it.
“I knew they would hold it down, I wasn’t worried,” Brigman said.
Bitburg, which used a steady stream of substitutions throughout the game, definitely looked to have the fresher legs down the stretch, as they were able to create several break aways from the fatigued Cougars.
Despite the frustration evident on the faces of Ansbach players, the Cougars can hold their heads high after a successful season and a championship game that had plenty of bright spots.
One of those bright spots was junior center Alyssa Solis, the 5-foot-10 imposing presence on the inside that kept the Barons on the perimeter for much of the day.
Her defensive abilities weren’t the only things that got Ansbach fans going, either, as she knocked in a game-high 23 points.
Minutes after the game, the Barons were recollecting amongst themselves about all the running drills they did during the season to get their stamina up. With their play down the stretch, the drills seemed to pay off.
“I’m flabbergasted,” senior Brianna Lackey said about the win.
When players were asked after the game how many of them would shed tears of joy over the victory, a unanimous answer from all the Barons rose up in a seemingly singular voice.
“I already did.”