CCA teams launch full-court press on state tourney
The Chilton Christian Academy boys and girls basketball teams are putting together a joint effort of sorts in the upcoming ACEAA playoffs. Both have secured a spot in the postseason, with the girls making it to the Final Four and the boys having made the Elite Eight.
While their success has been similar, the two teams took very different paths of getting to Oxford for the tournament.
“The girls started out well and maintained it,” said coach Todd Stephens. “The guys started out slow, but gained momentum. They definitely surpassed [their] goals.”
Stephens said senior leadership anchored both teams, albeit in varying ways.
“We have four senior girls (Rebekah Kirkland, Destiny Richards, Mary’l Smitherman and Jessica Standifer) that have gotten us to this point,” he said. “The girls have played together for years.”
‘The guys were led by (seniors) Chris Lassinger and Damian Smith and (junior) Landon Hall. It’s been a chemistry thing; they’ve really stepped up and learned to work well together.”
Stephens went on to acknowledge achieving the postseason can be tough for one team, let alone two.
“Both made it last year,” he said. “[But] it’s difficult to get both teams in there.”
While making the state tournament is always a good thing, he added that there was still work to be done once in Oxford. The boys’ team faces a heavily favored Tabernacle Christian out of Gardendale, while the girls will face Tuscaloosa Christian.
The goals for both teams are similar, but the game planning for both squads couldn’t be more different.
“The Tabernacle guys are coming in as favorites,” he said. “ If we just take the chemistry we built and put it all together, if we can execute on offense, we can definitely win.
“With the girls, it’s about hustle. The top four teams in the [Final Four] are the top four teams in the state. It’ll be about who hustles most.”
In addition to the basketball programs, the cheerleading squad from CCA will be performing as well during the tournament, taking the floor at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The CCA girls will play Friday at 10:30 a.m., and the boys will begin play Thursday at 8 p.m.
For more information, call CCA at 688-4454.