A cold Saturday afternoon did little to put a damper on a warm display of love and appreciation for CMS girl’s basketball coach Amy McGowan and her compatriots currently battling breast …
A cold Saturday afternoon did little to put a damper on a warm display of love and appreciation for CMS girl’s basketball coach Amy McGowan and her compatriots currently battling breast cancer.
McGowan along with fellow teachers Nancy Haggit and Ashley Meagher were honored between games at the annual Pink Out basketball battle between Cleveland and Ocoee Middle Schools.
“Today, we’re honoring all our staff members who have been battling cancer. We have three ladies on staff battling breast cancer. Nancy Haggit, Ashley Meagher and of-course our basketball coach, Amy McGowan,” said CMS athletics director Scott Carroll.
Fans were treated to an afternoon of quality basketball while celebrating those battling various forms of cancer. McGowan and Haggit were showered with roses presented by the CMS Raiders and Lady Raiders during the festivities. Afterward, all cancer survivors were called to the floor to join the fun for a — very large — group photo.
The afternoon of celebrating also held a deeper meaning for some going through the hardships of batting cancer, as proceeds from the day’s events will go to help with scholarships and treatment.
“All proceeds will go the Mary Ellen Locher Breast Cancer Center in Chattanooga. We are also going to be donating some money to Lee University’s scholarship for Volley for a Cure for cancer survivors to get scholarships to Lee,” said Carroll.
“We’re making it a big day mainly for coach McGowan. She’s battled it. She has really been a warrior through the cancer situation. She will have surgery sometime in March after our state tournament. We are just proud of her and all the cancer survivors for their tenacity they show while fighting through this disease.”
McGowan, who celebrated her final chemo treatment Wednesday, first took care of business along with the Lady Raiders in the day’s opening game with a 31-24 win over the Lady Colts.
Addison Hurst led all scoring for CMS with 13 points finishing with two 3-pointers. Hurst, Daniela Garcia, Alyssa Johnson, Jaydin Lee and KK Bayne all helped push CMS to a 10-2 first quarter lead. Mary Smith scored the only OMS point in the opening quarter.
The Lady Colts fought back in the second for 13 points with Abbey Dover lifting in a 3 while Cayce Davis, Marissa Patel, Smith and Ashley Crittendon pouring in points. Crittendon led the Lady Colts on the afternoon with 7 points.
The Lady Colts pushed up six third quarter points while holding the Lady Raiders to four to lead 21-20 headed into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Raiders opened it up on the offensive end piling in 11 points including Hurst's pair of treys while holding the Lady Colts to three to get the win.
“It was just an awesome day seeing that I just finished my last chemo on Wednesday. Yesterday (Friday) was my hard day and this morning struggling to get going and coming to this place all decked out in pink and everyone wearing their shirts just made me feel awesome and made me refocus on why I was here, and that’s for these girls. I then forgot all about how bad I felt this morning,” said McGowan.
McGowan, who missed only five days of school and pushed herself to attend every Lady Raiders’ game, said afterward she is grateful for the tremendous support she has received during her battle.
“The fact Ocoee came in and participated just makes it even more special. Ocoee and Lake Forest have proven this year that we may be rivals on the court but it’s all about these girls and teaching them about love, compassion and support in our community,” she said.
“Kindness, compassion and prayer is all I have felt in this community since my diagnosis and there is no other place I would raise my kids. All the people at CMS have been so supportive throughout tis process and I’m blessed to be able to work at such a great school and live in this community.”
The OMS boys finished off the day with a 52-35 win over the Raiders.
Harribson and Sausville led the scoring for the Colts with 13 points apiece and helped OMS to a 14-8 first quarter advantage. The Colts never trailed adding 14 more in the second quarter while holding the Blue Raiders to only three.
The number 14 was the number again in the third with Harribson highlighting the 14-9 run with a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 42-20 lead after three. The Raiders tossed up 12 points in the final period while the Colts added 10 more to finish out the 17-point win.
Wilson paced the Raiders with nine points to lead CMS.
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