The Dibrell Lady Wildcats had been waiting for nearly two months for their rematch with the Warren County Middle School Lady Pioneers.
Dibrell lost the first meeting on Oct. 10, but followed it up by dispatching eight straight opponents to set up a championship atmosphere at its home gym on Thursday night.
The Lady Wildcats pleased the home crowd by walloping Warren County 37-21 to clinch a share of the regular season championship in the Warren County elementary league.
Dibrell (11-1) needed to win on Thursday night to keep the Lady Pioneers from clinching the regular season championship and an opening round bye in the elementary tournament.
Warren County, winners of 10 straight, was shell-shocked when Lady Wildcat Rachel Johnson poured in 12 first-half points to help her team to a 22-8 halftime lead.
Johnson did a little bit of everything for Dibrell early. Johnson was able to find the range on two baseline jumpers, cut to the lane for two layups and also found teammates for easy baskets in transition.
Johnson’s scoring was backed up by a tenacious Dibrell defense, led by Elliana Morales.
Morales entered the game in the second quarter and threw a block party underneath the Warren County goal. In a span of 30 seconds, Morales swatted two shots into the cheerleaders, provoking loud cheers from the stands.
By the time Morales, Ali Wrisner and Jalynn Davis closed the second quarter with layups, Dibrell led by 14.
Kaylee Chisam, the league’s leading scorer entering Thursday, tried to keep Warren County afloat in the second half by scoring six points, but the Lady Pioneers could never match the intensity of the fired-up Dibrell squad.
Bailey Barrett scored six points in the third quarter, including sinking four straight free throws, then Taylor Watson shut the door on the Lady Pioneers with four points in the final period.
Dibrell celebrated on its home court as the team closed out the season on a nine-game winning streak. Johnson finished with a game-high 14 points.
Barrett was next with eight, followed by Watson with six. Davis added four points, Wrisner and Morales scored two points apiece and Brianna Young hit a free throw.
Chisam led Warren County with six points. Emily Mikkola finished with three, followed by Lexie Chadwell, India Fann, Shonacye Rutledge, Hailey Wood, Ashton Chiles and Odashya Ramirez with two points each.
If Warren County wins tomorrow night at Boyd, both the Lady Pioneers and Lady Wildcats will finish with 11-1 records. The No. 1 seed in the tournament would be determined by coin flip.
In other elementary girls action, the Morrison Lady Eagles scored an upset win over the Irving College Lady Tigers. Morrison won on its home court 19-17 to improve to 3-8 this season.
Tyra Wright scored 10 points, including two in a pivotal fourth quarter as the Lady Eagles held on to victory. Addyson Crouch added five points and Katelyn Smith chipped in four.
Callie Cathcart scored 10 points as Irving College fell to 6-5. Kaitlyn Mullican was next with five and Caylie Sherrell scored two. The loss drops Irving College into a tie for third place with Eastside. The two teams will play at Eastside tomorrow night at 6 p.m.
The Centertown Lady Warriors picked up their second win in three games by defeating the Boyd Lady Broncos 18-13 at J.K. Stanley Gymnasium.
Emilie Blankenship led the Lady Warriors with eight points while Allison Cripps chipped in six. Macie Walker and Page Duke added two points each as Centertown improved to 2-9.
Boyd (1-10) was led in scoring by Brit Brown with five points.
Rounding out the scoring was Kayla Taylor with four and Saylor Hodges and Jaden Vining with two points each.
Boyd will play host to Warren County on Monday night in the final night of the Warren County elementary league regular season.