|LC ladies exit early once more |
|Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 7:00 pm |
|By MIKE HUTCHENS |
Messenger Sports Editor
MURFREESBORO — Murphy Center has become ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ for Lake County.
The Lady Falcons lost a first-round Class 1A state tournament game in overtime for the second straight year Thursday when they dropped a stunning 57-55 decision to Summertown.
LC, which saw star guard and two-time Miss Basketball finalist T.T. Flowers foul out with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, missed five free throws in the last 53 seconds and blew an eight-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation.
Megan Kilburn’s stickback bucket with two seconds left in the fourth quarter forced the OT, and Courtney Grooms made two free throws with 6.6 ticks showing in the extra session to send Lake County home dejected from the Middle Tennessee State University campus for the third time in the past four years.
LC, ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press prep poll, finished the season at 34-5.
The senior class that consisted of Flowers, Lashasta Bolden, Carnation Hart and Brooke Horton did enjoy a stellar prep run however, compiling a 122-22 record during their four years.
Lake County head coach Brett Johnson was understandably upset after watching his squad making numerous mistakes at critical junctures.
“In some critical situations, we didn’t play with lot of common sense,” he said.
“That said, if we make free throws down the stretch, having the fouls to give and the offensive rebound that we gave up at the end of regulation are non-issues.
“I feel like that only way we lose this game is if T.T. (Flowers) is on the bench for a long period of time.”
Sophomore Tiana Gray scored 17 points to pace the Lady Falcons, while Flowers tallied 12 in just 16 minutes of play.
In other quarterfinal games from Thursday, Jackson County whipped Loretto and Clay County bettered Cloudland to lock up 1A semifinal berths along with Summertown and Union City, while unbeaten 3A powers Science Hill and Clarksville are now on a collision course after winning quarterfinal matchups.
Jackson Co. 52, Loretto 35
The third-ranked Lady Blue Devils, in search of the eighth state title in their program’s illustrious history, took control early and never looked back in gaining revenge for a first-round loss last year to Loretto.
Caroline Warden had 18 points and Jaycee Coe 11 for JC, which turned the ball over just six times and shot nearly 50 percent (19-of-39) from the field.
Loretto finished its season at 18-16.
Clay Co. 55, Cloudland 43
Sydney Roach poured in 29 points as No. 10 CC advanced with its 25th win over fifth-ranked Cloudland (32-5).
Roach made four of her team’s seven 3-pointers and the Lady Bulldogs pulled away over the final eight minutes to secure a spot opposite No. 4 Summertown in Friday’s semis.
The Highlanders made just 34 percent of their shots and half of their 16 free throw attempts.
Clarksville 64, Central 48
University of Tennessee signee Bashaara Graves had a monster game with 28 points and 22 rebounds and the Lady Wildcats continued their perfect mark with their 37th win in as many games.
Clarksville, which has five players to have signed Division I scholarships and is ranked sixth nationally, shot 61 percent in the second half.
Science Hill 47, LC 46
The Lady Hilltoppers — ranked No. 17 in the nation — survived a frantic LC rally to set up a semifinal showdown with fellow 37-0 unbeaten Clarksville.
Shy Copney had 16 points and nine rebounds for SH, which was outscored 17-7 in the fourth quarter.
LC (26-8) had a couple of chances to complete its comeback in the final half-minute, but Jessa Hunt missed a four-footer just before the horn. Published in The Messenger 3.9.12