It seemed like just a formality the Dibrell Lady Wildcats and Warren County Middle School Lady Pioneers would make it to the finals of the fifth- and sixth-grade elementary tournament, but the top two schools still had to win on Friday to set up the rubber match in the finals.
Dibrell and Warren County were each successful as the Lady Wildcats defeated Irving College 34-10 and the Lady Pioneers beat Eastside 17-4.
The finals, which were played last night and weren’t completed at press time, featured the two teams which went 11-1 in the regular season.
Dibrell was able to tame the Lady Tigers, who had been a tough out for the Lady Wildcats in the regular season.
A stout Dibrell defense and a big scoring night from Rachel Johnson were enough to handle Irving College this time around.
Johnson scored 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half, and the Lady Wildcats held Irving College scoreless for the first nine minutes to pull away for an easy victory.
Johnson was on her game from the outset. Dibrell’s top post scored six points in the first quarter as she drained three jumpers in the paint. Four points from Jalynn Davis helped give the Lady Wildcats a 10-0 lead after six minutes.
Irving College couldn’t seem to figure out a way to get past Dibrell’s press and the Lady Wildcats kept building the lead while the Lady Tigers kept turning the ball over.
Caylie Sherrell finally got Irving College on the scoreboard with 3:01 left in the second quarter, but six more points from Johnson and a free throw from Grace Rains led Dibrell to a 17-2 halftime lead.
Callie Cathcart sank a 3-pointer in the third as the Tigers momentarily found their range on offense, but four points from Bailey Barrett and two from Bri Young kept Dibrell with a sizable advantage.
Johnson, Davis, Rebecca Bain and Kailey Wood helped close out a 24-point victory by hitting shots in the fourth quarter.
Davis was the second-highest scoring Lady Wildcat with six points. Barrett finished with four, followed by Young with three and Bain and Wood with two. Rains and Calyn Damon scored one point each.
Callie Cathcart led Irving College with five points. Sherrell and Kenley Cathcart added two points apiece while Hannah Lee had one point. The Lady Tigers played in Saturday’s third-place game but scores weren’t available.
Even a sluggish start couldn’t stop the Lady Pioneers against Eastside.
With leading scorer Kaylee Chisam sidelined with foul trouble for most of the first half, the Lady Pioneers struggled to score against Eastside.
Chisam was able to score four points in limited minutes and Hailey Wood provided two points off the bench as the Lady Pioneers scored six points in the first half.
The slow scoring was even worse on the other side. Micah Sparkman and MaKenna Mason each hit shots for the Lady Bulldogs in the first quarter, but the team went the final 18 minutes of action without a point.
With Eastside failing to score in the second half, Warren County ran away with the win. Kyra Hillis drilled a 3-pointer in the third period and Chisam scored six points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Chisam led Warren County with 10 points. Hillis was next with three, followed by Wood and Lexie Chadwell with two apiece.
Sparkman and Mason each had two points for Eastside.
Last night’s championship game concluded the fifth- and sixth-grade elementary season. A full recap of the championship game can be found in Wednesday’s Southern Standard.