The Oak Forest Lady Jackets’ bid for an Overall Championship came to end on Saturday in a 65-56 loss to the Lady Rebels of Leake Academy. But while the defeat was disappointing, solace can be found in the fact that this Oak Forest team has gone farther than any other in the school’s history. After capturing the South AA State title just two weeks ago the Lady Jackets were upset at the state tournament in Brookhaven last week by Marshall. With their performance at the Overall Tournament this group has left a lasting legacy for Oak Forest teams to come.
In Saturday’s championship game with perennial power Leake, the Lady Jackets did more than just hold their own. They battled to a 15-15 tie after the opening quarter and only trailed 31-29 at halftime. The third quarter was more of the same as Leake couldn’t shake loose from Oak Forest and the Lady Rebels took a slim 51-47 lead into the final quarter. In the final quarter Leake would extend their lead as they outscored Oak Forest 14-9 in the fourth quarter. The Lady Jackets went cold in the quarter and weren’t able to overtake Leake as the Lady Rebels earned a 65-56 win to take their first Gold Ball since the 1998-99 season.
Oak Forest got great games from all five starters….senior Lindsey Oliver led the Lady Jackets with 18 points and 4 assists, senior Cassie Bennett added 16 points and 6 rebounds, senior Brittani Roy had 8 points and 8 assists, senior Lauren Brumfield had 8 points and 8 rebounds, and sophomore Ashlyn Neal had 6 points and 12 rebounds.
Leake was led by junior Emily Key with 18 points and 8 rebounds, and eighth grade point guard Hannah Peoples with 18 points, sophomore Jenny Wilbanks added 15 points and 7 rebounds, and junior Jessie Powers had 14 points and 5 assists.
The Lady Jackets struggled from 3-point territory hitting on 6/26 while Leake converted on 8/15.
Leake finished the season at 39-3 while Oak Forest finished at 36-6.