By KEVIN WEAKS
The season of unfinished business finished up too soon.
Obion Central, last year’s Class AA state runner-up, used that state championship game loss to Christ Presbyterian Academy as motivation to take one more step this year.
Westview, however, made sure the Lady Rebels wouldn’t even make it back to Murfreesboro for the chance.
Overcoming Paige Hicks’ 3-point shooting exhibition in the second quarter and then swapping momentum on virtually every possession in the final four minutes of regulation and throughout overtime, the Lady Chargers ended OC’s season in Dyersburg with a heartbreaking 57-54 decision before a large and boisterous crowd in the Region 7AA Tournament semifinals Monday night.
It marked Westview’s third win in four meetings against the Lady Rebels this season, the second win on Dyersburg’s floor in the postseason, and cut short yet another stellar campaign for the tradition-rich OC girls’ program with a 26-10 overall record.
The Lady Chargers, meanwhile, now have at least two more games on the 2012-13 schedule, beginning with the championship game 7 p.m. Wednesday against Covington and then Saturday in the sectional round.
Covington reached the title game by rallying past Dyersburg 62-55 in the first semifinal game Monday night.
Westview advanced by surviving a barrage of 3-point shots from Hicks in the second quarter and then fighting through miscues and adversity late in regulation and throughout overtime.
Back-to-back treys from Kaitlyn Harrelson and Tiffany Rechis early gave the Lady Chargers a 36-33 lead at 6:01 of the fourth quarter, their first advantage since 14-12 in the second period.
Katelyn Luthi followed with another triple for Westview’s biggest lead of the quarter at 39-35, and then the rest of Westview’s points in regulation came at the line, hitting 6-of-9.
OC fought back, though, as Hicks took a steal in for a layup and later fed Dianne Flippen underneath for a basket to get OC within 42-41 with 48 seconds remaining. Central then hit 4-of-6 at the line, sending the game into an extra quarter on two Brandi Goodman charities with 1.6 seconds to play.
That Westview was able keep going and win was even more impressive considering Rechis, one of the team’s top outside shooters, fouled out with 4:38 to play in regulation.
Teddy Vincent, a good perimeter shooter in her own right, knocked down Westview’s biggest field goal of the game — and only one of overtime — when she bottomed a triple at 2:39 to break a 47-all tie.
Rachel Jones hit twice at the line and then Hicks scored on a 15-footer off a steal for a 51-50 Lady Rebel lead with 1:50 to play, but Westview’s 7-of-8 shooting at the line trumped Hicks’ 3-pointer to bring down the curtain.
Westview held a slim 12-10 advantage after one period, but then was soon buried under an avalanche of Hicks’ triples as she knocked down four 3-pointers against Westview’s zone looks in the quarter as Central shot out to a 27-20 halftime lead.
Hicks led all players with 25 points, and Goodman finished with 17 for OC.
Lady Rebel head coach Lyle LaRue did not comment following the game.
Published in The Messenger 2.26.13