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Milan’s Gray snuffs Lady Charger rally in title game

Milan’s Gray snuffs Lady Charger rally in title game
Milan's Gray snuffs Lady Charger rally in title game | Westview Lady Chargers, District 13-AA Tournament, Milan Lady Bulldogs, Chantel Poston, Shaniqua Gray, Obion County Central Lady Rebels

runner-up — The Westview Lady Chargers entered the District 13-AA Tournament as the No. 4 seed. By the end of the championship game on Saturday night in Milan, the Lady Chargers had established themselves as the second-place team in the district.
By Stephanie Sturgis
Sports Editor
The Westview Lady Chargers couldn’t pull off magical comebacks in consecutive District 13-AA Tournament games.
As a result, the Lady Chargers had to settle for a second-place finish following a 56-46 loss to Milan’s Lady Bulldogs Saturday night in the tourney’s championship game.
Westview earned the right to play for all the marbles after a stunning 39-38 upset of the state’s No. 1 team, the Obion County Lady Rebels, in Thursday night’s semifinal round action.
The runner-up finish provides Westview with the perk of playing at home in its Region 7-A quarterfinal match-up. The Lady Chargers will host Covington when regional action gets under way on Friday night.
Lady Chargers’ late surge snuffed by Milan’s Gray
Coming off its surprise win on Thursday night, Westview was not about to be overlooked by Milan.
The Lady Bulldogs erupted for a double-digit lead in the first half and extended that to as many as 19 points in the third quarter before Westview crawled back into contention.
The Lady Chargers cut the gap to as few as four points in the game’s final 30 seconds before Milan iced the game at the free-throw line for a 56-46 victory and the District 13-AA championship crown.
“We battled. I told them at halftime, ‘You can go out and lay down in the second half or you can go out swinging,'” Westview head coach Sean Stephenson said. “I was proud of them for not quitting. We played well enough to win it in the second half, but we were just down too far.”
The Lady Bulldogs rode the back of Purdue-signee Chantel Poston right out of the gate. The eventual tournament MVP accounted for half of her 16 total points in the opening quarter.
After a few early Westview rebounds, the Lady Bulldogs began to assert their presence on the boards, controlling nearly every rebound and earning second-chance points as a result. Perica Glenn scored five first-quarter points for MHS after corralling teammates’ misses.
Amber Rechis was the lone scorer for Westview with two free throws and a trey as the Lady Chargers trailed 16-5 after a quarter of play.
Westview continued to struggle in the second quarter against the athletic Lady Bulldogs. Poston drilled shots from the perimeter while speedy point guard Shaniqua Gray scored on drives into the paint. Both scored six points in the frame.
Westview added the bulk of its points from behind the 3-point line in the second quarter as both guard B.B. Brooks and Rechis connected for a trey.
By the halftime break, the Lady Bulldog lead had stretched to 17 points at 32-15.
A Daquashia Simpson layup one minute into the third quarter set the Westview deficit at 19 points, 34-15.
From there, the WHS girls were patient yet aggressive on offense and diligent on defense in mounting a comeback.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Rechis and Brooks forced a Milan timeout. By the end of the third, Milan’s lead had been trimmed to 13 at 42-29.
A trey by Sara Olds after a drive and dish by Brooks brought Westview’s deficit back to single digits, 47-38, for the first time since early in the second stanza.
Brooks penetration and pull-up jumper sliced the gap to five at 47-42 with 1:33 left to play.
Milan free throws pushed the lead back to eight, 50-42, with 1:12 on the clock.
A stickback by Megan Ables and two Rechis free throws following a Milan turnover made it a four-point margin, 50-46 with 27 seconds remaining.
Gray then hit two free throws and came up with a steal and layup to double the Milan lead.
After a WHS miss at the five-second mark, Glenn grabbed the rebound. Her two free throws provided the game’s final margin of 56-46.
Gray finished with a game-high 23 points for Milan, while Rechis topped Westview scorers with 21 points.

Lady Chargers stun state’s No. 1 team
Following the game plan of head coach Sean Stephenson to perfection, the Westview Lady Chargers slowed the tempo to a crawl in pulling off an upset of the state’s No. 1 team in last week’s Class AA poll.
Westview nipped the Obion County Central Lady Rebels, 39-38, Thursday night in the District 13-AA semifinals to advance to the title game.
“We’ve got to keep it a low-scoring game when we play them,” Stephenson said.
Early on, the Lady Chargers took full advantage of OC paying close attention to scoring threat Amber Rechis. B.B. Brooks and Megan Ables both scored when their defender switched to double team Rechis. Rechis managed five points as WHS held a 9-8 lead after a quarter.
Rechis notched eight of her 22 points in the second quarter as Westview’s held a 19-16 halftime lead.
Six straight points by OC’s Chassidy Fussell gave the Lady Rebs a 26-23 lead with 2:36 left in the third, but a Grace Ann Swaim old-fashioned 3-point play put Westview ahead, 28-26, heading into the final frame.
An Ables jumper under heavy pressure early in the fourth gave the Lady Chargers a 32-26 edge. The score was tied twice before Obion County moved in front, 38-36, with a Fussell steal and 4-footer with 42 seconds remaining in the semifinal.
Westview ran time off the clock until Rechis drilled a deep 3-pointer from the left wing for a 39-38 lead with 15 ticks left.
Obion County got the ball into Aubrey Reedy on the low post but her jumper was blocked by Ables with five seconds to play. A jump ball on the rebound gave possession to OC under its own basket with 2.7 seconds on the clock. Again Aubrey Reedy got the ball down low. This time Sara Olds stripped her before she could get a shot off, preserving Westview’s 39-38 win.

District 13-AA Tournament Finals
Feb. 16 at Milan
Westview (46) — Amber Rechis 22, B.B Brooks 9, Grace Ann Swaim 6, Sara Olds 3, Jacey Sims 3, Megan Ables 2.
Milan (56) — Shaniqua Gray 21, Chantel Poston 16, Perica Glenn 11, Dequashia Simpson 4, Sarah Hamm 3, Julianne Joyner 1.
3-pointers: Westview — Rechis (4), Brooks (2), Olds, Sims; Milan — Hamm.
Records: Westview 20-10, Milan 24-4.

District 13-AA Tournament Semifinals
Feb. 14 at Milan
Westview (39) — Amber Rechis 22, Grace Ann Swaim 9, Megan Ables 4, Sara Olds 2, B.B. Brooks 2.
Obion County (38) — Chassidy Fussell 18, Jana Roney 11, Aubrey Reedy 4, Gentry Reedy 3, Emily McGee 2.
3-pointers: Westview — Rechis (4); Obion County — Fussell (2), G. Reedy.
Records: Westview 20-9, Obion County 23-3.

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