Newberry Observer

Lady Bulldogs are State Champions

COLUMBIA — Emotions were running high Saturday as the Class 3A Newberry High School Lady Bulldogs celebrated their first state championship win against Ridgeland-Hardeeville, 57-50.

Coach Melissa Mendenhall said the win didn’t come easy for the team.

“They went out there, played their game and did what we asked them to do. We worked hard this week in practice and they listened and followed every direction,” she said.

Mendenhall added that she was at a loss for words as the team continued to soak in the victory.

“This is what we have prepared for all year,” she said.

The Lady Bulldogs went into Saturday’s game not only with the state championship in mind, but also their teammate Rayanna Davis, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident. The team planned to Facetime Davis throughout the game, but the tables were turned when Davis surprised her teammates by showing up at the game.

Mendenhall said that while the team was going to play hard, they were also going to dedicate the championship game to Davis.

“They were probably going to Facetime her before we came in and before we went out, but just to have her here was better than any Facetime,” she said.

With the Lady Bulldogs 2017-18 season now complete, Mendenhall already has her sights set on returning to the state championship.

“I hope to get back here every year,” Mendenhall said.

Lady Bulldog Zacharia Epps goes for the shot against the Lady Jaguars.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State7.jpgLady Bulldog Zacharia Epps goes for the shot against the Lady Jaguars. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
Senior Rayanna Davis speaks with the media following the win. Davis is currently recovering from a car accident.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State1.jpgSenior Rayanna Davis speaks with the media following the win. Davis is currently recovering from a car accident. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
From left to right: Senior Kelsey Felks, Rayanna Davis, Zacharia Epps and Coach Melissa Mendenhall hold up the championship trophy and game ball.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State3.jpgFrom left to right: Senior Kelsey Felks, Rayanna Davis, Zacharia Epps and Coach Melissa Mendenhall hold up the championship trophy and game ball. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
The Lady Bulldogs celebrate as they end their 2017-18 season as State Champions.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State4.jpgThe Lady Bulldogs celebrate as they end their 2017-18 season as State Champions. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
The Lady Jaguars of Ridgeland-Hardeeville put the pressure on the Lady Bulldogs.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State5.jpgThe Lady Jaguars of Ridgeland-Hardeeville put the pressure on the Lady Bulldogs. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
Kelsey Felks goes jumps for the shot with a Lady Jaguar not far behind.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State6.jpgKelsey Felks goes jumps for the shot with a Lady Jaguar not far behind. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer
The Lady Bulldogs are the 2018 3A State Champions.
https://www.newberryobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_State2.jpgThe Lady Bulldogs are the 2018 3A State Champions. Kelly Duncan | The Newberry Observer

By Kelly Duncan

kduncan@newberryobserver.com

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.