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By GOOSE LINDSAY
The Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats took another step toward what they are hoping is a TMSAA East Tennessee Small Division Sectional championship Monday night with a dominating 43-25 victory over Bluff City in the tournament's quarterfinal round.
While the 18-point margin of victory was impressive, there were some anxious times for Lady 'Cat fans, especially in the early going as the Lady Grizzlies scored 10 of the game's first 12 points and seemed well on their way to an easy victory.
Oliver Springs, however, soon settled in and put together one of their biggest runs of the season. Before Bluff City scored again, Oliver Springs scored 23 straight points to take a commanding 25-10 lead early in the third quarter.
After falling behind 10-2, the Lady 'Cats ended the opening period with five straight points to make the score 10-7 after six minutes of play.
Oliver Springs stayed hot in the second period, outscoring Bluff City 12-0 in the frame to take a 19-10 halftime lead.
Rachel Griffith (6 points), Courtney Jones (5 points) and Emily Griffith (4 points) combined for 17 of Oliver Springs' 19 points in the first half.
Oliver Springs scored the first six points of the third period before Bluff City finally found the bottom of the basket. By then, however, it was too late as the Lady 'Cats took a 29-17 lead into the final period of play.
Emily Griffith had a big third quarter for Oliver Springs, scoring eight points.
The Lady Grizzlies never made a serious run at Oliver Springs in the final period. The Lady 'Cats won the final stanza, 14-8, to put the finishing touches on their 18-point victory.
Emily Griffith led Oliver Springs on the night with 12 points, four steals and three assists. Jones (11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) and Rachel Griffith (10 points, 4 steals, 4 assists) also scored in double figures for the Lady 'Cats.
With the victory, the Lady 'Cats advance to the semifinal round of the tournament and a match-up with Sullivan on Friday.
Oliver Springs (43) E. Griffith 12, R. Griffith 10, Jones 11, Fowler 4, S. Duggins 2, Topmiller 4.