Sweetwater Junior High’s Lady Cats made the trip to Sevierville on Saturday for a Class AA Sectional game, but the Lady Cats fell behind early and couldn’t recover in a 48-36 loss to Robertsville Middle that ends their season one game short of the state tournament sectional quarterfinals.

The two teams exchanged baskets early, but Robertsville quickly began to reel off points. Ayana Porter scored the first two baskets for the Lady Rams before a 3-pointer by Demetria Strickland widened the advantage for Robertsville. Alaysia Macon answered with a layup and Gracie Hart sank a 3-pointer for Sweetwater, but those were the last points of the first quarter for Sweetwater. Porter finished off the quarter with a jumper and three free throws to tally 11 points in the first stanza and Jenna Johnson added a layup to make the margin 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.

A 3-pointer by Abbey Davis answered the Robertsville run to start the second quarter, but Porter snatched a steal and scored on the other end in response. The Lady Cats got points from Hart at the free throw stripe and Davis on a jumper, but they still struggled to score in the second stanza. Two free throws and a layup helped Robertsville cling to their lead, 23-14, at the end of the first half.

Layups by Porter and Amari Stewart opened the second half for Robertsville, and though Macon knocked down a jumper and Davis knocked down a trey, Robertsville would not be slowed down. Stewart added another layup and a 3-pointer and Johnson poured in three layups in a row as the lead continued to swell. A Strickland 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Lady Rams their biggest lead of the game at 41-21 headed to the fourth quarter.

A flagrant foul against the Lady Cats to start the fourth quarter didn’t help the Sweetwater cause, as Robertsville knocked down one free throw and kept the ball. Stewart continued to be a force in the second half with a layup and a 3-point play the old fashioned way, and Johnson added another layup.

Sweetwater began to mount a comeback in the fourth, however. Macon added six straight points and Davis and Hart contributed jumpers to cut into the Robertsville lead. A 3-pointer by Davis and a layup by Macon helped out the Lady Cats, but in the end, they couldn’t recover from falling behind in the early goings and fell to the Lady Rams to end their season.

Follow @SDCarterSports on Twitter or email scott.carter@advocateanddemocrat.com

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