In the end there can be only one
Virginia Tech (3) – 75
Louisville (4) – 67
It took us five days to get to this moment, the showdown between 3-seed Virginia Tech and 4-seed Louisville to crown the ACC Women’s Basketball champion, and a tough road for both teams. Louisville tore through 12-seed Wake Forest, who put on a historic run, and then stomped on 1-seed Notre Dame, winning both games convincingly on the strength of play by junior guard Hailey Van Lith and a tough defense. Virginia Tech relied on a couple of Northwest Guilford alum, senior center Liz Kitley and senior guard Kayla King to beat 6-seed Miami. But it was junior guard Georgia Amoore who showed up big for the Hokies yesterday against Duke, dropping 24 points, 18 of them from 3-point territory.
In this championship game, Virginia Tech established their game early in the first quarter, with Kitley dropping a quick 8 points. In the second quarter, Louisville put 6-foot-5 grad student forward Liz Dixon on the court to handle Kitley.
Both Kitley and Amoore put up double digits in the first half, 14 apiece. On the Louisvile side, Van Lish was not getting her looks, frustrated by defensive screens and mismatches in the field. By the end she put up 14 points, which is admirable but a bit short of her usual output.
In the third quarter, the matchup was between a couple of grad students: Louisville guard Chrislyn Carr and Virginia Tech forward Taylor Soule, who traded points for the whole 10 minutes. Soule put up 9 of her 13 points in the third quarter; Carr matched with 9 of her own.
Eighteen of Carr’s 27 points came in the second half; if she could have won this game by sheer force of will, she would have. But her efforts, along with her team’s smothering full-court press in the fourth quarter, were just not enough.
Kitley finished with 20 points, a fine cap on her college career befpre entertaining offers from the WNBA. Soule ended the game with 13 points. The indefatigable Amoore finished with 25 points, and the tournament MVP.
Final score, 75-67.
It was a fantastic tournament, with heroics, surprises, grudges and more than a little blood on the floor. Here’s hoping the ACC sees fit to keep the tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, where it has been for 23 of the last 24 years.
Check this week’s Triad City Beat for more Women’s ACC coverage, and then we’ll take on the men’s championship at the Greensboro Coliseum this week.
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