SWEETWATER LADY CATS 41, LOUDON LADY REDSKINS 22
The Sweetwater Lady Cats took a lead over the Loudon Lady Redskins early in the game on Friday night and managed to control that lead throughout. The Lady Cats drifted to a 10-4 lead going into the second quarter and never looked back.
The Lady Cats put up the first five points of the second quarter, including a 3-pointer by Mikalee Martin. Madison Robinson followed with an offensive putback. The Lady Redskins then found some room inside to put an end to the Sweetwater scoring run.
With 4:30 remaining in the first half, the Lady Redskins were in single bonus, going 1-2 from the free throw line after drawing a Lady Cat foul. Mari Robbins quickly answered with a trey on the other end.
A silence broke out on both ends, scoring wise, but Abbey Barr knocked down a trey for the Lady Cats to take a 23-7 lead with three minutes remaining in the half.
The Lady Cats attempted to hold the ball for the final minute of the half, but the Lady Redskins ended up with the final shot, a layup at the buzzer.
Barr put the first points of the second half on the board with a layup for the Lady Cats and the Lady Redskins had a chance to answer on a trip to the free throw line, but they could not convert.
Kassedy McCool found an opening down the baseline, in which she took advantage of, driving in and drawing the foul. McCool sunk both free throws and the Lady Cats took a 27-10 lead with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter of play.
Shea Wheeler added 3 points to the Lady Cats’ lead as she knocked one down from behind the arc. Going into the final quarter of play, the Lady Cats were out front 30-10.
Loudon broke their scoring drought with a triple to start the fourth quarter, and they then followed with two successful free throws on a later trip down the floor. Robbins would go to the free throw line after a McCool steal but could only convert one one of two free throws. A Lady Redskins trey cut the lead to 13 with a score of 31-18 and 4:30 remaining in regulation.
The Lady Cats looked to spread the floor and kill some clock. Barr found room inside and a foul. With the Lady Cats in single bonus, Barr went to the line, where she knocked down one of two free throws. The Lady Redskins would also take a trip to the line on the other end, where they went 2 for 2, cutting the Lady Cats lead to 12.
Free throws down the stretch were key for the Lady Cats. Robbins went 1-2 on a trip to the charity stripe, and with a lane violation on the Lady Redskins, Robbins sunk the second-chance free throw. McCool again went 2-2 on a trip to the stripe, giving the Lady Cats a 36-20 lead, but a Lady Cats foul on the other end sent the Lady Redskins to the line with 1:50 remaining and they knocked down both free throws.
Robbins was tripped on the next trip up the floor, which was ruled an intentional foul, sending her to the line and giving the Lady Cats possession after the free throws. Robbins went 1-2 from the line, and McCool was fouled after the inbounds. McCool continued to knock down free throws on what turned out to be back to back trips to the strike.
The final score was 41-22 and the Lady Cats extended their win streak to three games with the district win over the Lady Redskins.
No. 5 SWEETWATER WILDCATS 61,
No. 3 LOUDON REDSKINS 55
It was a top-10 rivalry showdown between the Redskins and the Wildcats Friday night, and Sweetwater was hungry for an upset.
It was Loudon, however, who stuck first on the scoreboard. But after a few empty trips on both ends, Sweetwater’s Dominique Oggs found an open court and threw down a one-handed dunk to give the Wildcats their first two points of the game. The next possession, it was Oggs again for 2. Bryce Johnson came up with a steal on two of the next four possessions for the Redskins. But empty trips on both ends, and a charge called on Kile, left both teams with a scoreless two minutes.
Loudon’s JD Thaxton pushed the floor with room to dunk, but took a hard foul going up. Thaxton was 2-2 from the line, tying the game at 4-all inside three minutes to play in the first quarter. Loudon’s Jamison Harig then took a hard foul going up inside. The basket was good, as was the free throw. Loudon added a couple more scores before the first quarter buzzer sounded, and the Redskins led 11-7 after one.
A Wildcat turnover started the second quarter, but they managed to get the ball back. Matthew Kile dropped a floater to cut into the Redskins’ lead, but the Redskins made good on two free throws on the other end.
A missed opportunity for the Wildcats resulted in 2 points for Loudon on the other end after two offensive boards.
But, the Wildcats were on a mission. Oggs found an opening, and capitalized. The shot was good, and the foul gave Oggs and the Wildcats a chance to cut the lead to one. The 3-point play was successful with five and a half minutes remaining in the half.
Sweetwater used their momentum to bring out their full-court defense, attempting to get the Redskins out of rhythm. A hustle play by Conner Pippen resulted in an unfortunate foul call, and one of two free throws for the Redskins.
Both teams were in the single bonus with five minutes remaining in the half. It was Kile who tied the game at 16-all after finding room inside for 2 points. Oggs found Kolbe Billingsley pushing the floor but Billingsley was unable to finish. Oggs came up with the rebound and drew the foul. A 1 for 2 trip to the line for Oggs gave the Wildcats a 17-16 lead, but it was short lived as Loudon came right back with a basket and a foul. The free throw was no good for the Redskins.
Sweetwater found an answer as Kile kicked it to Oggs for a trey, giving the Wildcats a 20-18 lead with 1:30 remaining in the half. Oggs stripped the Redskins of the ball and was fouled, sinking both free throws.
The Wildcats took a slim 22-18 lead into the half.
The second half started with a showdown of blocked shot attempts. Oggs blocked two straight attempts from Loudon’s Mason Small, and Small repaid the favor by blocking Oggs’ shot on the other end of the floor.
The two teams would trade scores the next couple trips up the floor. The Redskins made a run and scored 4 straight points, but Austin Long had answers as he scored 4 straight points for the Wildcats to follow. Oggs blocked another Redskins’ shot attempt, and the Redskins were called for another charge, this one taken by Long.
Billingsley found some confidence, sinking a trey. Loudon, however, answered with back-to-back scores. Jamison Harig took a trip to the free throw line for Loudon, going 1-2. With 1:45 remaining in the third, the Wildcats led 33-29. Loudon pushed the floor, finding Small for two. Oggs scored the next five points for the Cats, one being a field goal, one being a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
With just quarter of play remaining, the Cats were out front, 38-31.
Loudon made good on a few trips down the floor to start the fourth quarter as they cut the Wildcats’ lead to three. Billingsley found his power in the fourth quarter, however. He went 5-6 on three trips to the free throw line, one thanks to a Loudon technical foul, and he added a field goal.
Connor Pippen’s tight defense forced a traveling violation on the Redskins. Harig, however, would later knock down two free throws for Loudon on a trip to the line. Kile picked up a loose ball after a Billingsley miss and went straight to the rim.
Loudon refused to back down. They continued to knock down shots and draw fouls. The Wildcats looked to spread the floor and kill some clock, forcing Loudon to foul. Kile was sent to the line where he went 2 for 2, but Small answered with a basket inside.
Free throws were key for the Wildcats as Long, Kile, Oggs, and Carson Hicks would all take trips to the line in the remaining minute of regulation. Long went 1-2, Kile went 3-4, Oggs went 2-2, and Hicks went 1-2.
Loudon wouldn’t make it easy, however, as they to continued to draw fouls. Harig took a trip to the line, going 1-2, cutting the lead to six with 33 seconds remaining. Loudon being in a must-foul situation, and Small being closest to the ball, resulted in Small fouling out of the game.
The free throws from Hicks and Oggs were followed by a Jackson trey at the buzzer, but Loudon would still come up just short as the Wildcats came out of the back-and-forth matchup victorious with a 61-55 final score.
With the win, Sweetwater improved to 20-2 on the season, 7-1 in district play, putting them in the driver’s seat for the regular season district championship.
Oggs finished with a game high 27 points. He added five blocks, and nine rebounds. Kile added 14 points, while Billingsley added 10.