Rome High School’s Lady Wolves Varsity Basketball team saw little resistance while making their way to the championship game of the 68th Annual Rome Seven Hills Rotary Christmas Tournament.
Starting tournament play on December 16, Rome beat Pepperell High’s Dragons by a score of 66-22. Next up for the Lady Wolves was a contest with the Chattooga High School Indians where they secured another convincing win, 76-18, over the Indians.
This win set up the finals showdown between Rome and the Darlington Tigers. Both teams had played well before they were to meet December 18 at Berry College’s Cage Center. With bragging rights and the coveted Gold Ball trophy on the line, basketball fans showed up in force to root for their girls.
Darlington was hot out of the gate and attacked the basket with high percentage shots. Rome kept things close with strong defense and hitting big shots to bring the game within seven points before the half. Darlington entered halftime leading by a score of 27-20.
“I told our girls at halftime that basketball is the ultimate team sport,” Coach Thomas McAboy who leads the Lady Wolves as head coach. “I told them that they are not playing for their parents, and they are not playing for me. I told them to play this game for the ladies you run sprints with, the ladies you lift weights with and the ladies you call your teammates. This game is about the blood, sweat and tears of your teammates, and they responded after the half.”
Rome did find their footing in the second half and focused on making Darlington work for shots under the basket. The Wolves then found their range, and the jump shots started to find the bottom of the net. Treneisha Adams hit three big shots in the final half of the game that gave Rome the lead. Adams finished with 16 points to lead all scorers. Close behind her total with 12 points was Breana Griffin who also played an outstanding game on the defensive end of the floor. Cassie Covington added seven points to round out the top three in scoring. However, this victory was one that every Wolf on the floor contributed to. Rome would become the 2021 champs by a score of 49-46 in a barn burner.
“I am so proud of how we played,” McAboy said. “I got to Rome a little late in the year, so to see how they have started to trust me and trust our system is exciting for what we can accomplish later in the season. Our
halftime locker-room talk was pretty intense. That was the first time I have had to motivate them in that way. They responded and I am so happy to see how our supporters show up for our team. I am proud to be a Rome Wolf.”