Girl's Basketball

Lady Eagles Win Final Game at Eagles Nest

Story and Photos: Jeremy Stewart, Rome News-Tribuneasdf
There wasn’t much fanfare Tuesday afternoon as Coosa High School’s 44-year-old gymnasium hosted its final basketball game. There didn’t need to be. Dispersed among the crowd, the game officials and the teams themselves were people whose memories of the Eagles’ Nest provided the fitting backdrop for the structure’s last event. It helped that the Lady Eagles, who wrapped up a round-robin girls’ basketball tournament Tuesday, closed out Larry Bing Court with a victory.
Coosa defeated Gordon Central, 36-33, to finish the three-day event with a 2-0 record. Cassie McFather led the Lady Eagles with 11 points, including a pair of 3s. Senior Perry Shumate added six and had 12 rebounds. For Shumate, her years of coming to the Eagles’ Nest — first as a fan and then as a player — made her emotional after the game. “There has been a lot of good people who have played in it, from my whole family to future NBA players,” Shumate said. “It’s an honor to have the last game here and get a win. I’ll be able to tell my kids I was the last one to play in this gym.”
The gym is being vacated this week before crews come in and begin demolishing it to make room for the continued construction of the new Coosa High School campus. Teams will play at Georgia Highlands College’s Floyd campus or other sites while the new gym is built. It is expected to be completed by January 2017. “It’s sort of sad to see this old gym go, but we’re looking forward to having something new for the future,” Coosa Principal Trevor Hubbard said.
Hubbard played basketball at Coosa growing up, as did his wife, and their son is in the boys’ basketball program. Shumate’s mother and brother played at Coosa as well.
Coosa girls coach Chad Cooper went to Armuchee, but still has plenty of memories of coming to the Eagles’ Nest. “There have been a lot of wins in this gym,” Cooper said. “When I was in high school, I never looked forward to coming here and playing against coach Bing and his teams.”
The court was named in honor of longtime Coosa boys coach Larry Bing shortly after he retired from coaching following the 2006-07 season. He collected a 618-252 record and 10 region championships between a 10-year stint at Cave Spring High School and a 23-year career at Coosa.
The Lady Eagles (2-1) fought to get the win Tuesday afternoon, using the perimeter and the return of starting point guard Emma Reynolds to edge Gordon Central. Reynolds had two 3-pointers in the final nine minutes of the game that were critical in helping Coosa take a 34-24 lead with 5:07 left in the game and in surviving a 9-2 game-ending run by the Lady Warriors. “She provided a big spark off the bench in the second quarter,” Cooper said of the sophomore. “We’re a different ball team when she’s on the court.” Gordon Central (0-3) was led by Nina Fleming’s 13 points and took a 12-9 lead with 6:09 left in the first half before an 8-0 run by Coosa put them back on top. Coosa’s boys and girls will begin their Region 7-AA schedule Tuesday when they travel to Chickamauga to take on Gordon Lee.