When Crescent went on the road and beat rival No. 14 Cashion this week, the Lady Tigers knew it was a big one. As it would turn out, the win would give the Lady Tigers the tie-breaker for the regular season Three Rivers Conference title.
The Lady Tigers finished tied atop the conference standings with Cashion at 5-1 after the LadyCats upset No. 4 Okarche on Tuesday. The 49-42 win over LadyCats would give Crescent the title outright.
“We were waiting to see what kind of shook out between Cashion and Okarche and Cashion ended up winning that one, so we were able to be outright champions with the win over Cashion last week,” Crescent Head Coach Karl Butt said.
Winning the regular-season conference title outright is just the latest step for the Lady Tigers, who continue to raise the bar for their own expectations. Four years ago, the Lady Tigers were 4-20. Over the next two years, Crescent won 16 or more games in back-to-back seasons. Now, in 2020, they staked their claim as the best team in the conference.
“We have always looked to improve and move to the next step,” Butt said. “From day one when we were struggling to make baskets, it was okay, well let’s try and make baskets. Once we did that, it was let’s close some games out or get to the winning side of the tournament. Then it was let’s go win the tournament. We are always trying to go to the next goal and raise the expectation level of the program.”
Butt said winning the regular-season conference title was just a byproduct of trying to make the postseason. It was a mini-goal on the road to a bigger goal.
“This just goes to show that we took care of business night-in and night-out and that’s what you’re hoping for,” Butt said. “This was just an accolade on the way of trying to make the playoffs. Winning the conference title feels really good. Winning the tournament is one thing, but to win the regular-season title is a whole other animal. You have to show up and play well all year long. The kids are proud of this and they should be because I’m proud of them.”
Battelo Reaches 1,000 points for a career
Junior guard Elizabeth Battelo entered Tuesday night needing only four points to eclipse 1,000 points for a career. She would score five in the first half.
“Scoring 1,000 points for a career is an incredible feat for any player but to get it as a junior is pretty impressive,” Butt said. “It goes to show how much of a natural she is. She always could score the ball, but now she’s developed more of a jump shot and that’s going to make it really tough for anyone to guard her not only the rest of this year but in her senior year, too. I’m really excited to have her on our team for another year to see her keep excelling and helping our team out.”