Assignment Four: A Story in Three Photos-Part One

An empty Tremont High School gynasium is minutes away from hosting its first North Half title game since 1993. One of the smallest schools and towns the state, the entire community centers around the school’s basketball teams.
Senior and team captain Taylor Lentz (left), discusses strategy with teammates during pregame warm-ups. The game is Lentz’s fourth trip to the playoffs, but her first North Half Final’s appearance.
Tremont’s starting lineup is introduced to the home crowd before the school’s first North Half girls title game in 24 years.
Before every game the Lady Eagles rally around one another for a prayer and customary team chant.
Point Guard Katie Graham surveys the defense during the Eagle’s opening possession.
The Tremont gynasium, dubbed “The Eagle’s Nest” was standing room only, and several students decided to paint their bodies to show their school spirit for the big game.
Shaw’s Tonaria Smith brings the ball up against a Lady Eagle’s zone defense that led their region in opponent’s points per game.
A maximum capacity crowd looks on as sophomore Haley Robinson prepares to shoot a three pointer to give her team an early lead. In a town lacking so much as a red light, school athletics are the main source of entertainment.
Numerous championship banners hang along the wall of the Eagle’s Nest and Tremont senior Taylor Lentz looks to add one of her own as she shoots a three pointer to give her team an early lead.
Anna Porter, a first year head coach tries rally her players during a late second quarter timeout after falling behind by five points.
Katie Graham prepares for a “one-and-one” free throw situation after Tremont worked their opponents into foul trouble late in the first half.
Katie Graham fires up a three pointer to close the gap seconds before the halftime break.
Anna Porter debates a foul call that places the opposing team in the bonus for the remaining seconds of the first half.
Taylor Lentz gets a congratulatory “five” from teammate Alyson Hadorn following a made free throw that shrunk the lead back to single-digits. The team motto “finish the mission” is visible along the wall of the gym to constantly motivate the team.
The Tremont student section erupts with cheer and celebration following a three pointer by Tiffany Lentz that put the Eagles back within one possession of Shaw.
Trailing by four late in the game Katie Graham knocks down a free throw as the home fans remain completely silent, a basketball custom.
Jacaria Smith completes a pass to sister Tonaria in the corner, leading to a basket, inching the Lady Hawks closer to a North Half title.
Two minutes from victory the Shaw fans, four hours from home, shower their team with praise during a timeout.
Junior Katie Graham wipes sweat from her face before shooting a pair of free throws late in the game.
Taylor Lentz watches a teammate’s free throw clank off the rim, suddenly aware of her high school basketball career’s looming end.
Tonaria Smith sinks a shot from the charity stripe to put the game on ice and punch her team’s ticket to Jackson with a chance to win a state title.
The Lady Eagle players were overcome by emotions as they left the court one game shy of the 1A State Championship, and senior Taylor Lentz (left, 15) breaks into tears as the loss signals the end of her high school sports career.
Players shake hands and hug following a close game to determine who would represent North Mississippi in the State tournament. Tremont players return their locker room visibly disappointed and fighting to hold back tears.
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