OSMS blasts New Center on way to semis, 47-30

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

The Oliver Springs Middle School Lady 'Cats played their first game in 18 days Wednesday evening, but Jeanne Armstrong's squad showed no signs of rust as they rolled to a 47-30 victory over New Center in the quarterfinal round of the TMSAA East Tennessee AA Sectional Tournament at Pigeon Forge.

Oliver Springs never trailed Wednesday although the Lady Rockets did stay within striking distance for one half of play.

The first period of play would see Oliver Springs' speed and quickness on the defensive end setting the tone. The Lady 'Cats would come up with seven steals in the first quarter.

Those steals didn't lead to a lot of points, however, as Oliver Springs led just 7-5 after six minutes of play. Rachel Griffith scored six of Oliver Springs' points in the opening quarter.

Oliver Springs did have a chance to expand their lead at the charity stripe in the opening frame, but the Lady 'Cats would make only one of their nine free throws in the first quarter of play.

Oliver Springs started to pull away in the second period. Behind four points each from Rachel Griffith, Courtney Jones and Sydney Duggins, the Lady 'Cats outscored the Lady Rockets 14-6 in the frame to take a 21-11 lead into halftime.

The Lady 'Cats continued to pour it on in the third quarter and by the end of the frame Oliver Springs held a commanding 37-18 lead.

Rachel and Emily Griffith scored five points for Oliver Springs in the frame while Sydney Duggins added four.

Oliver Springs opened the final period with an 8-0 run that made the score 45-18. Rachel Griffith and Emily Duggins combined for all eight points to start the final frame.

After building the 27-point lead, Oliver Springs took their foot off the gas and that allowed the Lady Rockets end the game with a 12-2 run that made the final score 47-30.

All five Lady 'Cat starters put up big numbers in the win. Rachel Griffith led the team in scoring with 19 points while Sydney Duggins narrowly missed out on a double-double as she ended the evening with nine points and 15 rebounds. 

Emily Griffith (7 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 8 steals), Emily Duggins (6 points, 3 steals) and Jones (4 points, 11 rebounds) also put up solid numbers.

With the victory, Oliver Springs advances to Friday's semifinals and a match-up with Area 1 champion Happy Valley. Wartburg and Oneida play in Friday's other semifinal contest with the two winners set to meet Saturday  at 3 p.m.

 Oliver Springs (47) R. Griffith 19, Morgan 2, S. Duggins 9, E. Griffith 7, E. Duggins 6, Jones 4.