Locals to Participate In March Madness
Covenant College's Margaret Cross and Cornell's Adam Wire will soon be up to their elbows in March Madness.
Cross was one of this area's most deadly three-point shooters in recent years before graduating from The O'Neal School last May. She earned all-conference honors in both basketball and soccer four times as a Falcon.
The 5-foot-6 guard has recently been one of three freshmen starters for the Mt. Lookout, Ga. college. Although the Scots finished fifth in the Appalachian Athletic Conference during the regular season, they won three games in three days to capture the conference tournament.
That gave them a berth in the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. They take an eight-game winning streak and 20-12 record into next Thursday's first round game against defending national champion, Northwestern College of Iowa.
Cross contributed 10 points in the Scots' first round conference tournament victory over Union College.
In the championship game win over Tennessee Wesleyan, Covenant had a two-point lead with six minutes left in the game when Cross drained a three from the corner. That basket ignited a spurt that stretched the final margin to 78-66.
Cornell's 83-59 win over Penn on Friday, coupled with Princeton's loss at Columbia, clinched the Big Red's second consecutive Ivy League title. It also makes them the first team in the field for this year's NCAA tournament.
Wire a 6-5 sophomore forward, who earned all-conference honors as a senior at Pinecrest, continues to make his team stronger defensively and on the boards when he replaces one of the Big Red starters. He scored two points, grabbed four rebounds and had a steal in the win over the Quakers.
For the season, Wire is averaging 16 minutes of action and three points a game while leading the team in steals. He is also fourth on the team in total rebounds and tied for second in offensive boards. In a 96-75 win over Harvard, last month, he scored a career-high 14 points to go along with four assists and four steals in a productive 21 minutes of action.
This will be Wire's second trip to the big dance. Cornell, now 20-9 overall, and 10-3 in the Ivy League, completed its regular season at home against Princeton on Saturday.
One bracket expert, Joe Lunardi, predicts Cornell will be a 15th seed, facing Duke, a No. 2, in Greensboro in the first round.
The Big Red lost to Stanford in first round last year.
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