Sweetwater got out to a sluggish start on Wednesday night against Loudon and allowed the Lady Redskins to hang around for much of the first half, but the Lady Cats pulled away in the second half to take a 42-25 win. The win propels the Lady Cats into Friday’s district semifinals against McMinn Central at Loudon High School.
Abbey Barr got Sweetwater going early with a jumper and a 3-pointer, and Mikalee Martin added a trey of her own to make it 8-2 early. Loudon wouldn’t go away, however, as Emily Vance and Ashley Stoner each sank 3-pointers for the Lady Red. After the first quarter, Sweetwater still held a lead but only at 11-8.
A Carrie Pittman 3-pointer to open the second stanza tied the game at 11, but Mikalee Martin responded with a layup. A Summer Parnell layup tied the game again, but this time Martin replied with a jumper and Shea Wheeler knocked in a 3-pointer to put Sweetwater up by five. A last-second trey by Grace Oody just before halftime cut the margin to 18-16 at the break.
After halftime, Sweetwater knocked down shots from the free throw line, but Parnell answered with a layup. Sweetwater then turned up the intensity on both ends of the floor and reeled off an 11-2 run to end the third quarter. The run was keyed by Barr, who sank two jumpers, a layup, and a trey in the short period. Madison Robinson also added a bucket and the Lady Cats took a 32-20 lead to the final period.
Martin added two free throws to start the fourth quarter and then followed them up with a jump shot. Barr added a layup and Robinson added two as the Lady Cats continued to grow the lead. Pittman was perfect from the stripe for Loudon and Oody dialed in on another 3-pointer as the game wound down, but the effort was not enough for Loudon to make a comeback and their season ended on their home court.
Barr led Sweetwater with 16 points and Martin added 12. No Lady Redskin finished with double figures in a standout defensive performance for the Lady Cats.