The Wildcats and Lady Cats hosted Loudon on Tuesday, and though the Lady Cats pulled out an impressive victory, the Wildcats fell in a game that was tight from start to finish.
SWEETWATER LADY CATS 48, LOUDON LADY REDSKINS 43
Sweetwater got out to the early lead behind a pair of layups from Madison Robinson, a layup by Mari Robbins, and a 3-pointer by Kassedy McCool. Molly Russell and Emily Vance each answered with a 3-pointer for Loudon, but that was the only scoring for the Lady Redskins in the opening period. After one, Sweetwater led 10-6.
The Lady Cats continued to push in the second with a layup by Mikalee Martin and two straight putbacks by Robinson, but then a cold spurt hit the home team and shots stopped falling. Loudon took full advantage of the opportunity as Amberi Slusher added a layup, Grace Oody sank a trey, and Russell and Vance added layups as part of a 10-0 Loudon run that put the Lady Redskins on top 18-16 at halftime.
An Abbey Barr 3-pointer sparked Sweetwater to open the second half and Robinson and Martin each added layups to pull ahead. Summer Parnell wouldn’t let them pull away, though, sinking a 3-pointer to go along with a Russell layup to draw within 1. McCool gained some breathing room with a layup. Parnell immediately answered with another 3-pointer to tie the score. Four points from Robbins was the difference, however, and the Lady Cats took a 32-30 lead after three.
Martin added two free throws and Barr added a second trey to start the final stanza, but layups by Russell and Carrie Pittman kept Loudon close. A Robbins layup was countered by an Amy Harrison 3-pointer and after a few free throws for the Lady Cats, a Russell layup cut the lead to 3. Robbins converted on one of two from the stripe, and Vance answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to cut the lead down to 1 with 28 seconds remaining. The Lady Cats — Barr and Martin — finished off the game with a perfect showing at the free throw line to take the win for Sweetwater.
Robinson led Sweetwater with 13 and Martin added 11. Russell led Loudon with 13 and Vance added 11.
LOUDON REDSKINS 49, SWEETWATER WILDCATS 47
A top-billed contest between undefeated Loudon and one-loss Sweetwater was everything it was made out to be- close throughout and heartbreaking for the loser.
Dominique Oggs was a force early for Sweetwater, scoring 11 of the 12 first quarter points for the Wildcats on layups and free throws. Loudon, meanwhile, was more balanced, as Caleb Dutton and Landon Parks threw in the first points of the day. Fouls became a problem for Sweetwater as it sent Donovan Blankenship to the line for five free throws, all of which he converted. A Jamison Harig free throw to end the period saw both teams knotted up at 12 after one.
Three layups by Mason Small and one by Drew Jackson in the second quarter saw Loudon take a slight lead, but a brief run by Sweetwater’s Kolbe Billingsley and Matthew Kile helped tie the game and a layup by Bryce Johnson took the lead for Sweetwater. A Blankenship jumper at the buzzer kept the score tied 26-26 at halftime.
All of Loudon’s points in the third quarter came from Blankenship, but he went cold for a brief moment to give Sweetwater an advantage. Johnson started off a run with two free throws and Oggs, Johnson, and Billingsley each added a layup to put Sweetwater up 37-30. The lead wouldn’t last long, as Blankenship came back with a layup and a 3-pointer before the buzzer to cut the Sweetwater lead down to 2 heading to the final stanza.
Johnson and Oggs sank baskets to extend the lead in the fourth until JD Thackston’s first points, a 3-pointer, ignited the Loudon bench and cut the lead to 2. Another Oggs layup helped, but again Thackston responded with a trey to cut the lead down. A Small layup and a third Thackston 3-pointer gave Loudon back the lead, though Austin Long tied the score again with seconds remaining.
With 10 seconds left, Sweetwater fouled and Blankenship made one of two shots. With just moments left to gather the ball and make a play, Sweetwater fumbled away possession to Loudon. One more free throw for the Redskins iced the close contest between two teams that will meet again later this season.
Oggs led Sweetwater with 22 and Johnson added 11. Blankenship scored 17 for Loudon and Thackston and Small each added 9.