Mar. 31—Every time the Bush Lady Blue Devils and Cold Hill Lady Cubs compete, it's always a battle and that's exactly how Saturday's championship matchup went.
"It's one of those games where it's going down to the wire and we knew that from day one," said Cold Hill Coach Darrin Hacker. "They are a really good team. We've been with them in the championship game the last four years in a row. They've won two and we've won two and that's where we want to be."
The Lady Cubs were holding onto a five-point lead when Bush was able to knock down a three-pointer with just 30 seconds left in the game to put the Lady Blue Devils within two points but Cold Hill was able to hold onto the lead to find the win, 28-26, and the Lady Cubs were named the 2021 Laurel County Elementary Girls Basketball Champions.
"We got what we wanted in the fact that we got three or four turnovers there, we just couldn't capitalize off of that," said Bush Coach Tyler Lewis. "I think we got a little ahead of ourselves. We had a double dribble, a travel call and then the last play there, we were trying to get an isolation to Bella Brown to let her score, I thought she could make it to the rim in three seconds but it just didn't work out.
"Credit to Cold Hill. They played great and Coach Hacker is a great coach. They just outplayed us today."
The score remained close most of the game, with the biggest lead being the five-point lead the Lady Cubs found in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, Lewis said he was extremely proud of his team.
"This is an amazing group," he said. "This group of girls is the nicest group, to a fault sometimes, that I've ever coached. They are very sweet. We've had several teams send messages saying they are the nicest group they've ever played. I'm just happy that, even in a loss, we got to play this year with COVID and everything."
Hacker said he is proud of his Lady Cubs who made their sixth trip to the championship game on Saturday.
"The girls they have done everything I wanted them to do," he said. "It's a great group of girls, very mature, very loving. My fifth graders, like every year, it's bittersweet. Hate to seem them leave but at the same time, I get to watch them develop into what they're going to become."
Hacker wanted to thank the Laurel County Board of Education, the fans, supporters and sponsors of Laurel County Elementary Basketball and for all their support this season.
Laurel County Elementary Girls Tournament
At North Laurel High School
Cold Hill 6 6 10 6 28
Bush 7 7 6 6 26
Cold Hill (28) — Jones 4, Andes 10, Cheek 6, Lewis 8.
Bush (26) — Mahan 2, Kilburn 8, Brown 16.