The end of the season came Tuesday night for the Boyd Lady Broncos after their first-round loss to the Centertown Lady Warriors. Boyd closed the gap with a flurry of shots near the end of the third quarter and trailed 16-14.
To start the fourth quarter, Centertown gained the upper hand and stole the Lady Broncos momentum from under their feet. Centertown pulled away as the Lady Warriors defeated the Lady Broncos, 34-23.
Ricki Valenta from Centertown started strong and finished strong. She led all scorers with a game-high 16 points.
The Lady Warriors started the fourth quarter on a mission and their pressure defense led to several Lady Bronco turnovers. Valenta was quick to get back down the floor after the steal. She went straight to the basket and scored. Valenta led her team with six points in the fourth.
Lady Warrior Jaden Smartt was fouled as she took the ball right into the heart of the Boyd defense. Smartt shot 3-of-5 from the free-throw line in the final period.
Despite the aggressive fourth-quarter defense, the Lady Broncos charged forward. The Lady Bronco offense moved the ball inside and back out and to the perimeter. Abby Blanton was left open long enough to launch a shot from behind the arch. Her shot hit its intended target for three points.
Erica Cantrell fought through the Lady Warrior press and knocked down a pair of shots for Boyd. Alaina Stiles added her final two points.
The Lady Warrior defense was tough in the final six minutes and the chaos in the back court confused the Lady Broncos. The Lady Warriors extended their lead and defeated the Lady Broncos 34-23.
It was a much closer game in the three previous quarters of play. At the end, Centertown was up 10-5.
Neither team could find a rhythm in the second quarter. Hollis for Centertown stepped the free-throw line and shot 2-of-2 for Centertown only offense before the half.
Boys fared slightly better and Cantrell buried a short jumper from just outside the paint and Stiles shot 2-of-6 from the free-throw line and at the half Boyd trailed 12-9.
Centertown played Eastside on Thursday with results not available at press time. The championship is scheduled for Saturday night at Warren County High School.
LADY WARRIOR SCORING – Ricki Valenta 16, Madison Hollis 6, Jaden Smartt 5, Madalyn Stubblefield 2, Brianna Hartl 1
LADY BRONCO SCORING – Erica Cantrell 8, Alaina Stiles 7, Abby Blanton 3, Anna Jones 3, Breanna Jones 2