©2013 NPT PHOTO BY CHRIS TAYLOR
Lady Red junior Allison Ball was named the District 2-AAA Tournament Most Valuable Player for her performance in Saturday night’s championship game.
|Published: 1:55 AM, 02/19/2013
||Last updated: 10:03 PM, 02/19/2013
Author: Seth Butler
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
Those words perfectly described Cocke County High School junior Allison Ball's
expressions after forcing a critical early fourth quarter steal during Saturday night's District
2-AAA championship game.
The hustle play, which was followed by a look of sheer passion and
determination on the junior's face was fitting.
After all, everything but losing was what
Ball had thought about all day leading up to the most important game of her life.
people were telling me that they hoped we won (tonight) and that they would be cheering for me,"
Ball said after Saturday night's title victory. "I told them, I'm determined not to
Ball, who was awarded the District 2-AAA Tournament MVP award for her efforts in the
championship game, helped the Lady Red to its first district tournament title since 1987-88,
which backed up the school's first regular season crown in 26 seasons.
playing only seven minutes in the opening half after picking up a pair of early fouls, Ball came
out on fire in the second half on both ends of the floor and put together a 16-point, 13-rebound
It was all part of a determination of there being no possibility of the Lady
Red dropping the championship tilt against their rivals.
"I would not accept losing at all,
I was determined to win this game," Ball said. "I wanted (to win) more than anything and that's
what I came out here to do."
That was an attitude that permeated throughout the entire
team. Even as almost everything seemingly went wrong during a three-minute span in the fourth
quarter, which saw Ball commit six turnovers as the Lady Red's lead went from 14 to four, things
still stayed together.
"That says a lot about their heart, desire and will to never give
up," Lady Red coach Jeremy Byrd said.
Byrd said it also shows a lot about the Lady Red's
standout guard, who has been a three-year starter for Cocke County.
"(Allison) has a motor
that never stops running," Byrd said. "She'll make a mistake here or there, but then she'll
come back with a big steal or something in the waning moments of the game to secure the
"I can't say enough about how proud I am of her, because she deserved the MVP," Byrd
While Ball's play, along with her snub in the District 2-AAA Player of the Year
voting, was a major part of Saturday's storyline, she was more focused on what the championship
crown meant to her team. CCHS went 14-41 over the previous two seasons and won only five league
games, with four coming against hapless South Doyle.
"It's just the world," Ball said.
"We just focused on this, from the beginning (of the season) this was our goal.
more to me, to everybody on the team, we couldn't be any happier," Ball said. "We had Mika
(Wester) come in (to the locker room) with tears in her eyes, it's just really great and such a
huge turnaround from last year."
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