Sweetwater’s Lady Cats rallied from a 12-point deficit in Friday’s Region 3-AA quarterfinals, taking the lead late, but it was not enough as 27 points from Shelby Romans propelled Red Bank past Sweetwater, 58-51, ending the Lady Cats’ season in Chattanooga.
Bailey Lee was too much to handle for Sweetwater early, as the Lady Lion scored three layups and three free throws to start the game. Savannah Washington added to the Red Bank lead with a jumper and a 3-pointer as the Lady Lions jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter.
Shea Wheeler got Sweetwater on the board with a layup, and Abbey Barr notched a steal and converted on the other end with a layup, but Washington added another layup before the break to put Red Bank on top 15-4 after one quarter.
Trinity Upton opened the second quarter with a layup and Madison Robinson added one of her own, but two 3-pointers from Romans kept Red Bank in front. Mikalee Martin sank a jumper and Mari Robbins got a 3-point play, and Martin added two free throws as the Lady Cats fought back. An Upton putback and three points from Robbins boosted the Lady Cats before the break, and at halftime, Sweetwater had cut the lead down to 28-21.
Out of the halftime break, Sweetwater capitalized on its momentum. Martin hit two layups and Robinson sank one to pull the Lady Cats within one at 28-27. A layup by Romans briefly expanded the lead, but a 3-pointer by Barr tied the score at 30. Barr hit a second 3-pointer moments later and Wheeler followed that up with a trey of her own to give Sweetwater a 6-point lead, completing the comeback rally.
Romans responded with a 3-pointer for Red Bank and Washington added a jumper, but Martin sank a free throw to send Sweetwater to the fourth quarter with a 37-35 lead.
Robbins netted a layup to start the fourth quarter for Sweetwater, but Romans sank a 3-pointer and Arteya Scott added a free throw to tie the game at 39. The Lady Cats fought back with layups from Upton and Robbins, but two layups from Red Bank to follow tied the game up again at 43-all.
Martin added a layup for Sweetwater to retake the lead briefly, but Romans responded with a 3-pointer, a free throw, and a layup to put Red Bank back in the lead as time wound down. Robinson sank a layup and so did Martin, pulling Sweetwater back within a basket of the Lady Lions, but the Lady Cats were forced to foul, as time was not on their side. Romans went 6-for-6 from the free throw stripe to ice the game for Red Bank and put an end to Sweetwater’s season.
Martin led Sweetwater with 14 and Robbins added 11. Romans led Red Bank with 27, on five 3-pointers, and Washington added 12.