MONTGOMERY– Monday’s outcome has no bearing on how great the Edgewood Cougars’ season was.
Edgewood fell in the district semi-finals, 86-25, to the undefeated, reigning state champion Mount Notre Dame Cougars.
“I told the girls in the locker room, this was no indication of our season,” said Edgewood interim head coach Bob Hunt.
The Cougs from Trenton finished the season with 18 wins, two coming in the postseason and were league runners-up. The fact that Monday’s final score was so lop-sided speaks purely about how good Mount Notre Dame is.
“[MND] is special,” said Hunt, praising his team’s opponent. “It’s hard to believe that they’re not going to be the state champions.”
Heading into the matchup, Edgewood had just one goal– play hard the whole game. After all, that’s all they can control.
“We knew that this was possibly going to be the end for us,” said Edgewood’s coach. “We prepared the best we could. We told the girls that the one thing we were worried about was playing hard for 32 minutes. Let’s give this everything we can for 32 minutes. If we win, we win. If we lose, we lose.”
Through the first two tournament games MND has outscored their opponents 163 to 28. As Coach Hunt alluded to, it’s hard to imagine they’re not going to repeat as champions. Even further, it’s hard to fathom a better high school girls basketball team in the United States.
The Cougs from the Mount were led by junior Laila Phelia and sophomore KK Bransford, each with 21 points. The former splashed 5-8 from behind the arch, while the latter ponied nine rebounds.
Senior Makira Cook came close but ultimately fell short of a triple-double, with 14 points, seven assists and nine steals.
MND will play Loveland for a district title on Saturday at Princeton High School.
Edgewood will go home with their head held high, knowing they lost to the best. The graduating senior class will leave behind a lasting legacy.
“We’ve been fairly competitive in our league for a long time, but I think this senior class just stepped up,” said Hunt. “They’re going to be hard to replace.”
Edgewood beat both Turpin and Oak Hills to get to the district semi-finals, which came on the coat tail of a buzzer-beating win over Little Miami to close out the season.
The Cougars finish their season with a 18-7 record– their best since 2017.