In an evenly-matched game on Monday night, it was Sweetwater that managed to pull away after the first quarter and the Lady Cats claimed third place in the District 5-AA tournament by defeating county rival Sequoyah 42-33.
Grace Wiggins opened the game with a jumper for Sequoyah and Abbey Borden added a 3-pointer as the Lady Chiefs opened an early lead. Sweetwater responded with two free throws from Mikalee Martin and a trey from Abbey Barr to tie the game, and then a Barr steal followed by a layup put the Lady Cats in front. Lauren Belcher responded with a 3-pointer of her own to briefly retake the lead, but layups by Madison Robinson and Mari Robbins gave the Lady Cats a narrow 11-10 lead after one quarter.
Sweetwater came out of the quarter break firing away and took a commanding lead. Trinity Upton led off with a cutback and Barr added a layup before a Robbins 3-pointer pushed the lead to eight. Sequoyah had an answer in Jessie Weese who sank a 3-pointer and a jumper, and Belcher and Mallorie Harrell sank free throws to pull the Lady Chiefs back within two at 20-18. Upton had the final say of the first half, however, with a layup at the buzzer to put Sweetwater up 22-18 at the break.
A free throw by Juli Brackett and a layup by Borden to start the second half pulled Sequoyah within one point of the lead, but the Lady Cats closed out a defensive third quarter on a 6-0 run with four points from Barr and two from Upton to take a 28-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
Defense was the story of the night, as standout scorers Martin of Sweetwater and Harrell of Sequoyah were held without a field goal until the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Lady Cats claimed their biggest lead of the night just moments into the period with layups from Barr and Robinson. Borden kept Sequoyah within striking distance with two layups, but Robinson responded with a pair to keep the Lady Cats’ lead. Weese added another jumper before Martin got her first field goal of the night on a jump shot. Martin then promptly fouled out of the game moments later to end her night. That didn’t effect Sweetwater however, as they finished 3-of-6 from the line to maintain the lead late.
A technical foul helped out the Lady Chiefs, and a 3-pointer for Harrell cut into the lead, but it was too late for Sequoyah to make a comeback and Sweetwater walked away with third place.
Barr led Sweetwater with 16 while Borden had 12 for Sequoyah.
Both teams were set to travel on Friday for region play. Sweetwater traveled to Red Bank while Sequoyah traveled to 6-AA’s champion, Signal Mountain.