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It wasn’t easy, but the Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats ran their season record to 2-0 Thursday night with a 67-62 victory at Tellico Plains.
“I don’t think we’ve played as well as we should have, but I’m proud of how hard we have played,” Lady ‘Cat head coach Michelle Christopher said. “They’ve worked hard this offseason and have made some big plays so far this season.”
As was the case in Tuesday’s victory over Sale Creek, the Lady ‘Cat guard trio of Kellie Ball, Emily Griffith and Rachel Griffith led the way for the Lady ‘Cats’. In Tuesday’s win, the trio combined for 50 points and Thursday night they combined for 48 points with Emily Griffith’s 23 points leading the way.
“They’re going to be tough to handle,” Christopher said of the trio. “They’ve scored a lot of points, but they’re really tough on defense. They’ve come up with a lot of steals and loose balls that have led to easy points.”
Thursday’s game was a battle from the opening tip as Tellico Plains used a pair of early three-pointers from Braden Garren to grab a 13-10 lead after one period of play.
Oliver Springs, however, caught fire in the second period and outscored the Lady Bears 23-17 in the frame to take a 33-30 halftime lead.
Emily Griffith scored eight points in the period while Rachel Griffith and Macy Martin scored six points each.
Ball failed to score in the first half, but she caught fire in the third period, scoring nine points and leading the Lady ‘Cats to a 51-42 lead with eight minutes left to play.
Tellico Plains didn’t go away quietly though, as the Lady Bears buried four three-pointers in the final period to keep things close.
Oliver Springs, however, used solid free throw shooting (8-10) in the final frame to hold on for the win.
Ball (14 points) and Rachel Griffith (11 points) joined Emily Griffith in double figures for the Lady ‘Cats.
Garren and McKinley Dalton scored 15 points each to lead the way for Tellico Plains.
Oliver Springs returns to action on Tuesday when they visit Anderson County.
“They’re tough,” Christopher said of the Lady Mavericks. “They’ve got two bigs that are good and overall they’re a seasoned group.
“Our schedule is tough again this year, but it will hopefully prepare us for where we want to be at the end of the season.”
Oliver Springs (67) E. Griffith 23, Ball 14, Snellings 2, R. Griffith 11, Martin 6, Smith 1, Giles 6, Morgan 4.
While the Lady ‘Cats picked up a five-point win, the Bobcats dropped a five-point decision to the Bears, 58-53.
The Bobcats had a strong first half as Tony Ingram’s squad led 10-9 after one period and 29-22 at halftime.
John Simms and Kane Anderson staked the Bobcats to the seven-point halftime lead as Simms scored five points in the first period before Simpson exploded for 14 points in the second.
Oliver Springs’ scoring pace slowed in the third period. The Bears outscored the Bobcats 1-9 in the frame to pull within 38-36 with eight minutes left to play.
Tellico Plains then outscored the Bobcats 22-15 down the stretch to pick up the victory.
Simpson led Oliver Springs on the night with 21 points while Simms added 14.
Oliver Springs (53) Simpson 21, Simms 14, Thompson 4, Morgan 3, Nelson 2, Henley 7, Nation 2.