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Lady ’Cats advance to Area 4-AA title game

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Harriman, Rockwood to play elimination game Saturday

By Goose Lindsay

 The Oliver Springs Middle School Lady Bobcats advanced to Saturday’s TMSAA Area 4-AA Championship Game after easing past Harriman, 31-23, Tuesday evening at Midway Middle School.

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Oliver Springs’ opponent will be Wartburg. The Lady Bulldogs downed Rockwood in Tuesday’s other semifinal contest, 38-13.

Perhaps more important than playing for Saturday’s title is the fact that the Lady ’Cats and Lady ’Dogs also secured berths in the upcoming TMSAA Class AA East Tennessee Sectional Tournament that begins on Saturday, Feb. 1. The winner of Saturday’s game will receive a first round bye while the loser must play an opening round contest.

Despite their losses, Harriman and Rockwood are still alive and will play Saturday at noon in the tournament’s consolation game. The winner of Saturday’s game will also advance to Pigeon Forge while the loser will see its season come to an end.

Rockwood vs. Wartburg

Playing without three starters, the Rockwood Lady Tigers were no match for the Lady Bulldogs.

With those starters out, the Lady Tigers knew they would need a cold shooting night from Wartburg, but the Lady ’Dogs came out on fire. Hannah Hurtt, Haylee Luttrell and Madison Holley all hit 3-pointers in the first period as Wartburg raced out to a 14-4 lead after one period of play.

The Lady ’Dogs hit just one triple in the second quarter, but they still added to their lead. Wartburg outscored Rockwood 7-3 in the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead at halftime.

Hurtt led all scorers in the first half with three 3-pointers and nine points while Oliver Metcalfe (4 points) and Cassidy Tilley (3 points) combined for all seven of Rockwood’s points.

The third period was a repeat of the second as Wartburg again won the frame 7-3 to take a 28-10 lead into the final period of play.

Nothing changed down the stretch as Wartburg cruised to the 25-point victory.

Hurtt (11 points), Holley (9 points) and Luttrell (6 points, 10 rebounds) were the leaders for Wartburg on the night while Tilley (7 points, 12 rebounds) and Metcalfe (6 points) paced Rockwood.

Rockwood (13) Metcalfe 6, Tilley 7.

Wartburg (38) Holley 9, Hurtt 11, Farmer 2, Luttrell 6, Poland 4, Jones 2, Potter 2, Smith 2.

Oliver Springs vs. Harriman

After beating Harriman by a combined three points in two regular season meetings, the top-seeded Lady ’Cats were on upset alert Tuesday, but they used a strong second half to pick up a 31-23 victory over the Lady Devils.

Oliver Springs showed why they were the top seed in the first quarter as they jumped out to a 9-4 lead after six minutes of play.

The Lady ’Cats threatened to pull away in the second period as they used back-to-back baskets from Morgan Hackworth to take a 16-7 lead, but Harriman refused to go away quietly. The Lady Devils ended the half on an 8-2 run to pull within 18-15 at halftime.

Oliver Springs’ Kinley Green led all scorers in the first half with six points while Mari-Claire Crass scored five for the Lady Devils.

Harriman’s Asia Bazel opened the second half with a basket that made the score 18-17, but Oliver Springs responded with an 8-0 run before Harriman scored the final three points of the frame to make the score 25-20 entering the fourth quarter.

The final period was a defensive battle, but that was just fine with the Lady ’Cats. Oliver Springs allowed just three points in the final period as they pulled away down the stretch for the 31-23 victory.

Green led all scorers on the night with 13 points and seven rebounds. Crass led Harriman with seven points and 16 rebounds.

Harriman (23) Goins 4, Pack 6, Breeden 2, Crass 7, Bazel 2, Gresham 2.

Oliver Springs (31) McDonald 4, Green 13, Bradshaw 4, Armstrong 5, Hackworth 4, Crass 1.