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Lady Bears tackle McAdams in finals

Defending Class 1A champion McAdams and West Lincoln punchedtheir respective tickets to the Class 1A Girls State Tournament inJackson, with a pair of hard-fought wins Saturday night in theClass 1A South State semifinals in Jack Case Gymnasium. The LadyBulldogs fought off a stubborn Bogue Chitto Lady Cats team 73-69after leading by as many as 18 points during several stretches ofthe game.

The host Lady Bears held off the short-handed Ethel Lady Tigers41-39 as the Lady Tigers missed 5 of 6 free throws in the finalseconds.

West Lincoln hosts McAdams for the South State 1A title Mondaynight at 7:30

West Lincoln 41, Ethel 39

The Lady Bears (21-10) struggled out of the starting gate; despiteleading 14-12 entering the second quarter. Head Coach Lane Youngsaw his ballclub get outrebounded 12-3 in the opening 8 minutes, asEthel scored 8 of its 12 first-quarter points on offensive putbackbaskets.

“We were slow coming out early,” said Coach Young. “We did notrebound or block out in the first half.”

The Lady Tigers, who dressed only six players, put forth a gallanteffort even though they never held the lead. Poor shooting doomedboth ballclubs but Ethel was unable to hit key free throws duringthe final minutes of the game.

West Lincoln led 19-16 at halftime, followed by a 31-all deadlockentering the final stanza.

In his eighth year at West Lincoln, this will be the third timethat Young has taken the Lady Bears to the state tournament inJackson.

“We are glad to be going to state,” said Coach Young following thegame.

For West Lincoln, Tati Marshall led all scorers with 13 points.Hannah Knouse followed with 12 points. Kristen Hall grabbed 9rebounds. Karli Herrington dished out a game-high 5 assists and had2 steals.

Ethel was led by Velvet Johnson with 12 points and Anna Dotson with10 points.

McAdams 73, Bogue Chitto 69

“We had our chances down the stretch, but we just could not makethe plays when we needed to,” said Bogue Chitto head coach ChristiTerrell. “I am extremely proud of these girls and the effort thatthey have given me all year. We have nothing to hold our heads downabout.”

The Lady Bulldogs (26-2) got a huge push from their senior guardduo of twin sisters Kierra and Dierra Gilmore. Kierra Gilmoresacked 24 of her game-high 35 in the opening half, with 13 comingin the second frame. McAdams, coached by Marvin McGee, led 28-20after one period and 48-35 at the intermission.

The Lady Cats (27-4) trailed by as many as 18 points early in thethird frame, before mounting a furious comeback. Bogue Chitto,behind treys from Aneshia Dillon and Darcy Miller, trimmed theirdeficit to 63-62 with less than 3 minutes left in the game.

The Gilmore twins would sack 4 of 5 free throws down the stretch asthe Lady Cats had to foul to stop the clock.

McGee was happy to escape with the win. “Bogue Chitto has a goodballclub, and are well-coached. They fought hard tonight. “We gotout of our full-court press in the first half, and worked on ourzone defense. That proved to be the difference in the game.”

Kierra Gilmore also had 4 steals and 2 assists, while DierraGilmore had 10 points, 5 rebounds 3 steals and 5 assists forMcAdams. Marquita Phillips led all rebounders with 9 boards.

Darcy Miller paced the Lady ‘Cats with 20 points, 3 steals and 3assists. Adrienne Hall had 13 points and 5 rebounds, Dillon had 14points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.